Biomechanics of Movement During Locomotion

Motion Analysis Test

Objectives

Locomotor disturbances frequently occur following space flight and have been reported by both U.S. and Russian space programs. During space flight, neural adaptive processes come into play recalibrating the central nervous system to permit new sensory-motor strategies to emerge in the novel sensory environment of microgravity. However, the adaptive state achieved on orbit is inappropriate for a 1-G environment leading to postural and gait instabilities on return to Earth.

The objectives of the "Biomechanics of Movement During Locomotion" study were to determine if eye-head-trunk coordination strategies, that occur during terrestrial locomotion, were modified following long-duration space flight and ascertain if these changes were associated with disturbances in gaze control, lower limb kinematics and muscle activity patterns of the leg during locomotion. Obtaining this information will aid in the design and evaluation of sensory-motor countermeasures against the deleterious effects of long-duration space flight.

Shuttle-Mir Missions
STS-71/Mir-18, STS-74/Mir 19

Approach
To accomplish these objectives, crewmembers performed two separate locomotion tasks pre- and postflight: (1) walking and running on a motorized treadmill, and (2) unrestrained overground locomotion. During the treadmill locomotion, two targets were placed at different distances from the subject for visual fixation to characterize changes in strategy associated with different goal-directed gaze tasks. A video-based motion analyzing system and accelerometers were used to measure head and body movements, while electro-oculographic (EOG) recording methods were used to measure eye movements. Muscle activation patterns were also determined by recording electromyographic (EMG) signals from the muscles of both legs.

Results
Crewmembers showed significant alterations in head-trunk coordination following long-duration space flight. Also, the Mir-18 and Mir 19 crews showed disruption in lower limb muscle activation patterns during locomotion that exceeded that shown by Shuttle crewmembers. Finally, microgravity induced alterations in head-trunk coordination during locomotion may possibly play a central role in astronaut locomotor dysfunction that occurs following space flight.

Earth Benefits
The development of unique research protocols like the ones that have been developed in this study can be used by clinicians to evaluate rehabilitation techniques for patients with balance and gait disorders. Development of this new technology can lead to the establishment of worldwide clinical vestibular testing norms that can be used in medical facilities. In addition, this reserach can lead to the formulation of models of neural actrivity based on known pathways and substrates. These models can be used to make predictions about response properties and transfer effects of a variety of motor subsystems following exposure to microgravity or as a predictive tool in clinical conditions.

Publications
Bloomberg, J.J., Layne, C.S., McDonald, P.V., Smith, S.L., Mulavara, A.P., Lange, G.W., Pruett, C.J., Merkle, L.A., Riley, P.O., and Kozlovskaya, I.B. ''Effect of space flight on head stability during locomotion.'' Neural Control of Movement Symposium, Cozumel, Mexico (April, 1997).

Bloomberg, J.J., Mulavara, A.P., Riley, P.O., Layne, C.S., McDonald, P.V., Smith, S.L., and Kozlovskaya, I.B. ''Three dimensional head movement control during locomotion after long-duration space flight.'' 12th Man in Space Symposium, Washington, DC (June, 1997).

Bloomberg, J.J., Peters, B.T., Huebner, W.P., Smith, S.L., and Reschke, M.F. ''Locomotor head-trunk coordination strategies following space flight.'' J. Vestib. Res., 7, 161-177 (1997).

Hillman, E.J., Bloomberg, J.J., McDonald, P.V., and Cohen, H.S. ''Dynamic visual acuity while walking: A measure of oscillopsia.'' J. Vestib. Res. (In Press).

Hillman, E.J., Bloomberg, J.J., McDonald, P.V., and Cohen, H.S. ''Measurement of oscillopsia while walking.'' Houston Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Houston, TX (February, 1997).

Lange, G.W., Layne, C.S., Pruett, C.J., Merkle, L.A., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''The effect of visual target manipulation on neuromuscular patterns during gait.'' Houston Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Houston, TX (February, 1997).

Layne, C.S., Lange, G.W., Pruett, C.J., McDonald, P.V., Merkle, L.A., Mulavara, A.P., Smith, S.L., Kozlovskaya, I.B., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''Adaptation of neuromuscular activation patterns during treadmill walking after long-duration space flight.'' 12th Man in Space Symposium, Washington, DC (June, 1997).

Layne, C.S., McDonald, P.V., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''Neuromuscular activation patterns during locomotion after space flight.'' Exp. Brain Res., 113, 104-116 (1997).

McDonald, P.V., Bloomberg, J.J., and Layne, C.S. ''A review of adaptive change in musculoskeletal impedance during space flight and associated implications for postflight head movement control.'' J. Vestib. Res., 7, 239-250 (1997).

McDonald, P.V., Layne, C.S., Bloomberg, J.J., and Kozlovskaya, I.B. ''Human body shock wave transmission properties after long-duration space flight.'' 12th Man in Space Symposium, Washington, DC (June, 1997).

Merkle, L.A., Layne, C.S., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''The use of factor analysis to identify neuromuscular synergies during locomotion.'' Houston Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Houston, TX (February, 1997).

Mulavara, A.P., Verstaete, M.C., Layne, C.S., McDonald, P.V., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''Quantifying coordination in the head-trunk system using a stiffness control paradigm in investigations of adaptations to weightlessness.'' Houston Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Houston, TX (February, 1997).

Newman, D.J., Jackson, D.K., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''Altered astronaut lower-limb and mass center kinematics in downward jumping following space flight.'' Exp. Brain Res. (In Press).

Pruett, C.J., Layne, C.S., Lange, G.W., Merkle, L.A., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''The effect of cadence and space flight on neuromuscular patterns during overground locomotion.'' Houston Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Houston, TX (February, 1997).

Smith, S.L., Layne, C.S., and Bloomberg, J.J. ''The effects of space flight on segmental coordination during combined treadmill locomotion and visual target fixation.'' Houston Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Houston, TX (February, 1997).

Bloomberg, J.J., Huebner, W., Layne, C., McDonald, P., Reschke, M., Peters, B., and Smith. S. "Evaluation of microgravity induced adaptive modifications in sensory-motor function." American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Life Sciences and Space Medicine Conference, Houston, TX, April 3-5, 1995. Abstract in AIAA Book of Abstracts, p. 22-23.

Bloomberg, J.J., Huebner, W.P., Layne, C.S., McDonald, P.V., Reschke, M.F., Peters, B.T., and Smith, S.L. "The effects of space flight on head movement control and lower limb coordination: Head-trunk strategies." 3rd International Symposium on the Head/Neck System. Vail, CO, July 2-6, 1995.

Bloomberg, J.J., Reschke, M.F., Huebner, W.P., Peters, B.T., and Smith, S.L. "Locomotor head-trunk coordination strategies following space flight." Journal of Vestibular research, (Submitted, 1995).

Bloomberg, J.J., Reschke, M.F., Peters, B.T., Smith, S.L., and Huebner, W.P. "Head stability during treadmill locomotion following space flight." Presented at Aerospace Medical Association 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, San Antonio, TX, May 8-12, 1994, Abstract in Aviat., Space, & Environ. Med. 65(5):449, 1994.

Glasauer, S., Bloomberg, J.J., Reschke, M.F., Peters, B.T., Smith, S.L., and Berthoz, A. ''Spatial orientation during locomotion following space flight.'' Man in Space Symposium, Toulouse, France, March, 1995.

Layne, C.S., Bloomberg, J.J., and McDonald, P.V. ''The effects of space flight on head movement control and lower limb coordination: Lower limb muscle activation patterning.'' 3rd International Symposium on the Head/Neck System, Vail, CO, July 2-6, 1995.

Layne, C.S., Bloomberg, J.J., McDonald, P.V., Jones, G., and Pruett, C.J. ''Lower limb electromyographic activity patterns during treadmill locomotion following space flight.'' Aerospace Medical Association Annual Scientific Meeting, San Antonio, TX, May 8-12, 1994.

Layne, C.S., Bloomberg, J.J., McDonald, P.V., Jones, G., Merkle, L., Pruett, C.J. ''Lower limb muscle activation patterns after space flight.'' IVth International Conference of the Space and Underwater Medicine Division of the World Federation of Neurology, Fort Lauderdale, FL, August, 1994.

Layne, C.S., Bloomberg, J.J., McDonald, P.V., Jones, G., Pruett, C.J., Merkle, L. ''Changes in lower limb electromyographic activity following space flight.'' Proceedings of the 19th Annual Technical Symposium of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Houston Section), University of Houston - Clear Lake, TX, May, 1994.

McDonald, P.V., Bloomberg, J.J., and Layne, C.S. ''Lower limb coordination during treadmill locomotion following space flight.'' Proceedings of the 19th Annual Technical Symposium of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Houston Section), University of Houston - Clear Lake, TX, May, 1994.

McDonald, P.V., Bloomberg, J.J., Layne, C.S., and Basdogan, C. ''The effects of space flight on head movement control and lower limb coordination: Lower limb kinematics.'' 3rd International Symposium on the Head/Neck System, Vail, CO, July 2-6, 1995.

McDonald, P.V., Bloomberg, J.J., Layne, C.S., and Peters, B. ''Intersegmental coordination during treadmill locomotion following space flight.'' Presented at Aerospace Medical Association 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, San Antonio, TX, May 8-12, 1994, Abstract in Aviat., Space, and Environ. Med. 5(65), 1994.

McDonald, P.V., Layne, C.S., Bloomberg, J.J., Merkle, L., Jones, G., and Pruett, C.J. ''The impact of space flight adaptation on postflight locomotion.'' Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 15, Miami Beach, FL, 1994.

Paloski, W.H., Bloomberg, J.J., Reschke, M.F., and Harm, D.L. ''Space flight-induced changes in posture and locomotion.'' Presented at: Round Table on Sensory Motor Adaptation to Microgravity, Biomechanics XIVth I.S.B. Congress, Paris, France, July 4-8, 1993. Abstract in Journal of Biomechanics, 27(6): 812, 1994.

Principal Investigators
Jacob J. Bloomberg, Ph.D.
NASA/Johnson Space Center

Inessa B. Koslovskaya, M.D.
Institute of Biomedical Problems

Co-Investigators
Charles S. Layne, Ph.D.
Vernon P. McDonald, Ph.D.
Andrei A. Voronov, Ph.D.
Millard F. Reschke, Ph.D.

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