Effects of Aging and Tai Chi on a Finger-Pointing Task With a Choice Paradigm.

Effects of aging and tai chi on a finger-pointing task with a choice paradigm.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 653437
Tsang WW, Kwok JC, Hui-Chan CW

. This cross-sectional study examined the effect of aging on performing finger-pointing tasks involving choices and whether experienced older Tai Chi practitioners perform better than healthy older controls in such tasks. . Thirty students and 30 healthy older controls were compared with 31 Tai Chi practitioners. All the subjects performed a rapid index finger-pointing task. The visual signal appeared randomly under 3 conditions: (1) to touch a black ball as quickly and as accurately as possible, (2) not to touch a white ball, (3) to touch only the white ball when a black and a white ball appeared simultaneously. Reaction time (RT) of anterior deltoid electromyogram, movement time (MT) from electromyogram onset to touching of the target, end-point accuracy from the center of the target, and the number of wrong movements were recorded. . Young students displayed significantly faster RT and MT, achieving significantly greater end-point accuracy and fewer wrong movements than older controls. Older Tai Chi practitioners had significantly faster MT than older controls. . Finger-pointing tasks with a choice paradigm became slower and less accurate with age. Positive findings suggest that Tai Chi may slow down the aging effect on eye-hand coordination tasks involving choices that require more cognitive progressing. HubMed – rehab


Neural Stem-Like Cells Derived from Human Amnion Tissue are Effective in Treating Traumatic Brain Injury in Rat.

Neurochem Res. 2013 Mar 10;
Yan ZJ, Zhang P, Hu YQ, Zhang HT, Hong SQ, Zhou HL, Zhang MY, Xu RX

Although human amnion derived mesenchymal stem cells (AMSC) are a promising source of stem cells, their therapeutic potential for traumatic brain injury (TBI) has not been widely investigated. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of AMSC using a rat TBI model. AMSC were isolated from human amniotic membrane and characterized by flow cytometry. After induction, AMSC differentiated in vitro into neural stem-like cells (AM-NSC) that expressed higher levels of the neural stem cell markers, nestin, sox2 and musashi, in comparison to undifferentiated AMSC. Interestingly, the neurotrophic factors, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin 3 (NT-3), glial cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) were markedly upregulated after neural stem cell induction. Following transplantation in a rat TBI model, significant improvements in neurological function, brain tissue morphology, and higher levels of BDNF, NGF, NT-3, GDNF and CNTF, were observed in the AM-NSC group compared with the AMSC and Matrigel groups. However, few grafted cells survived with minimal differentiation into neural-like cells. Together, our results suggest that transplantation of AM-NSC promotes functional rehabilitation of rats with TBI, with enhanced expression of neurotrophic factors a likely mechanistic pathway. HubMed – rehab


Effect of Functional Fatigue on Vertical Ground Reaction Force Among Individuals with Flat Feet.

J Sport Rehabil. 2013 Mar 8;
Boozari S, Jamshidi AA, Sanjari MA, Jafari H

CONTEXT: Flat foot as one of the lower extremity deformities might change kinetic variables of gait. Fatigue is one of the factors which can alter the vertical ground reaction force (GRF). Effect of fatiguing condition on vertical GRF was not documented in individuals with flat feet. OBJECTIVE: To examine the fatigue effect on vertical GRF in individuals with flat feet compared with a normal group during barefoot walking. DESIGN: Repeated measure ANOVA for the effects of fatigue on individuals with flat feet and normal feet. SETTING: Biomechanics laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: Seventeen subjects with flat feet and 17 normal subjects (recruited according to their arch height ratio) completed the test. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Three vertical GRF measures (F1; the first peak force, F2; minimum force; and F3; the second peak force) were extracted before and after a functional fatigue protocol. RESULTS: No significant interaction between fatigue and group was observed for the three vertical GRF measures. For F2, fatigue and group effects were significant (p = 0.001 and p = 0.02, respectively). Furthermore, F2 was higher in the flat feet group compared with the normal group; F2 also increased after fatigue. For F3, only a significant fatigue effect was observed (p = 0.004). F3 decreased after fatigue in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: In the flat feet group, a decrease in the variation of vertical GRF might be due to more flexible foot joints. After fatigue, muscles might lose their ability to control the foot joints and cause higher F2 in the flat feet group. HubMed – rehab