Zoologisk avdeling - Museum Stavanger

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Zoologisk avdeling - Museum Stavanger

Movement Analysis Lab steps into space with latest equipmentThe Clinical Movement Analysis Lab captures patients’—like Joshua Watson, 11, who has cerebralpalsy—gaits with markers and cameras and displays the movement in real-time on a screen in the room.More tools make for better researchin the Clinical Movement Analysis Lab(CMAL) in the Clinical Center RehabilitationMedicine Department Functional &Applied Biomechanics Section (FABS).A recently renovated space brings thelatest in motion capture and analysisequipment to the study of how patientpopulations move.After two months displaced to theMedical Arts television studio on the B2level, the team moved back into their labin the Rehabilitation Medicine Departmentin February. The renovations werefunded by the phenotyping core of theCenter for Neuroscience and RegenerativeMedicine. Tasked with learning moreabout traumatic brain injury to developtreatments and therapies, the center isa collaboration between the NIH, theUniformed Services University, the WalterReed Army Medical Center, the NationalNaval Medical Center, and The Henry M.Jackson Foundation for the Advancementof Military Medicine.Eventually CMAL staff will see traumaticbrain injury patients and help inthe categorization and study of pathogenesisfor those with such conditions.The CMAL uses a combination oftools—cameras, electrodes, force plates,and a new body weight support system—togive a comprehensive view ofhow patients with debilitating disorderssuch as cerebral palsy and osteogenesisimperfecta move. While the focus is onwalking, any type of movement in anypart of the body can be measured.“Combining all those data gives afull quantitative analysis,” said LindseyBellini, an FABS engineer. The goal isto develop new strategies to improvemovement and to test those strategiesalready in place, said Chris Stanley, seniorresearch engineer in the FABS.The primary piece of the puzzleinvolves ten new cameras that measuremotion—improved from seven oldercameras—by recording the changingpositions of reflective markers onspecific locations of the patient’s body.A bone model created from the reflectivemarkers calculates joint angles, forexample how much the knee bendswhen walking. The new motion-capturesystem features real-time capability,where the software processes themotion as it occurs, rather than afterthe motion is completed. This allows formore advanced studies and lets researcherscheck that the capture technology isset correctly and adjust if necessary. Tiny,wireless electromyography electrodes aretime-synchronized with the system andmeasure muscle activity, such as when theyfire to propel the person.“Plus it’s really cool to show people,‘this is what you’re doing right now,’”Bellini said of the technology also used insports performance analysis and motionpicture technology.A color pattern on the floor camouflagesplates that measure three dimensionalforces and moments in each patient’s step.With a lot of pediatric visitors, the colorsare also “just more fun for the kids,”Stanley said.A bigger, better treadmill also holdsforce plates. The treadmill is split, rightand left, to measure and compare forceson each side. The treadmill will be usedwith a new virtual reality system that willbe tested first in patients with Parkinson’sdisease or traumatic brain injury, theengineers said. This type of system can‘trick’ the person to step over obstacles ornavigate through a narrow hallway or busystore, to more realistically assess how theyfunction in everyday life.The last piece to be installed wasa body weight support system with atrack extended over the force plates andtreadmill. The patient wears a harness thatis connected to the system, allowing theteam to provide support to enable weakor heavy patients to practice walkingwhen they would not be able to on theirown. Additionally, the support systemcan help patients safely practice moredifficult tasks, such as running or deepsquats, without a fear of falling. Thesupport is dynamic, that is the same tensionis held through the entire exercise,both when pulling away and whenmoving closer through the natural gaitpattern.“This allows us to start rehabilitationsooner and accelerate people morequickly. When they’re not supportingtheir entire body weight, they can challengethemselves,” said Bellini.Data from all the CMAL tools arecombined to form a more completepicture for both patients with motordisabilities and healthy volunteers (forcomparison sake). The lab measuresthe effects of interventions—everythingfrom surgery to medications, a brace toan exercise regime—to see if the patientmakes and retains progress. For example,the movement of a young childwith a brain injury would be capturedand analyzed before, during, and aftercompleting an exercise program onthe elliptical machine to see if greaterpractice of making reciprocal arm andleg movements would translate to fasterand better walking.July 2010 Clinical Center news

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