Impairment in Leg Muscle Activity during a Balance Task Following a Stroke



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Stroke leads to poor balance control, which in turn can lead to falls. Current rehabilitation methods to improve balance control in stroke patients have been found to be ineffective. To potentially enhance balance recovery post-stroke, we hope to fill in the knowledge gap in the changes in neural connectivities following a stroke on balance control. A multi-modal and multi-system approach was implemented to understand the impacts of cortical reorganization in stroke survivors' balance control. Balance performance was assessed through clinical-based testing via the Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go, whereas lab-balance performance tasks were conducted via the NeuroCom to evaluate postural stability. Alongside balance assessment, cognitive ability, as well as muscle and brain activity were analyzed using MoCA, electromyography, and electroencephalography respectively. Due to COVID-19, we postponed further data collection, and focused on analysis of previous subjects, that included 4 stroke subjects and 1 healthy control. Focusing on EMG, we hypothesize stroke patients will show reduced leg muscle activity on affected side versus non-affected. Through analysis of the Tibialis Anterior muscle, visual analysis has concluded that a right side lesion shows weaker muscle signals in the affected left leg muscle and also larger muscle activity in high difficulty balance tasks vs medium difficulty. Addressing changes in cortical maps' will lead to potential improvements in therapeutic methods to enhance balance recovery and potentially the quality of life of many stroke survivors. The beginnings of EMG analysis shows promising findings, and we hope to continue data collection and analysis.