Motion, gait and function - research projects

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Function - a biomechanical perspective

The focus of the research is to evaluate patient relevant outcomes and adapt and validate comprehensive and clinically meaningful measures of function in children and adults with problem in the muscloskeletal system.

Ongoing projects:

Gait Deviation Index (GDI)

" To adapt and validate measures of overall gait deviations for children and adults with joint diseases with respect to both kinematics (joint motion) and kinetics (joint moments)

" To evaluate the responsiveness of the GDI- kinematics and kinetics for children and adults with joint diseases

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

" To reduce the complex foot kinematic data into a given single number - Foot Deviation Score (FDS) and describe ankle characterization using Dynamic Ankle Stiffness (DAS) and identify each mechanical components.

" Identify disease mechanisms and factors affected by treatment with biologics and Intra-articular steroid-injections in children with JIA

" Validate and apply patient-relevant outcomes in studies of joint diseases in children

Knee function in children with traumatic knee injury

" Modify the existing version of Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), to make it suitable for use in children with traumatic knee injuries.

" Development of clinical tests such as Quadriceps-angle and dynamic knee bending

" Treatment outcomes by study factors influencing treatment outcomes where the factors will be gender, hip-, knee-, and foot kinematics and kinetics, sagital instability, self-reported giving way episodes, joint laxity, q-angle and lower extremity muscle strength.

Functional evaluation of patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis

" To examine strategies used to perform test of maximal number of knee bending on one leg during 30 seconds and to develop a knee bending-index in patients with hip and knee OA.

" To examine strategies used to perform test of five times sit to stand and to develop a sit-to-stand-index in patients with hip and knee OA.

" To evaluate the responsiveness of the knee bending-index and the sit-to-stand-index in patients with hip and knee OA.

" Indications, symptoms, expectations and function with a gender perspective.

Kontakt: Eva Weidenhielm Broström, PhD, Physiotherapist

Motion and walking function in children with motor disorder

The projects cover the study of influencing factors on human movement. In various studies motor function is examined in children with motor disorders with respect to the following questions:

Artrogryphosis multiplex congenita (AMC)

In children and adolescents with artrogryphosis multiplex congenita (AMC) we are interested in how various walking pattern appear in various types of AMC and the energy effort during walking. We also study how they perceive their health-related quality of life and health status and how satisfied they are with their orthoses

Cerebral pares

In children with cerebral palsy we investigate the perceptual disturbances related to motor function. The overall aim is to contribute to interpretation of the term perception in the current definition of CP and to identify signs which can help discriminate children whose motor ability depends primarily on motor problems such as difficulties with volontary movements, balance and spasticity, from children who have difficulties with spatial perception.

Myelomeningocele (MMC)

In children and adolescents with myelomeningocele we study which factors influence walking ability beside the neurological lesion level, how motor function develops from the first year of life and how is helath-related quality of life is perceived with respect to ambulatory function

Kontakt: Åsa Bartonek, PhD, Assoc Prof, Physiotherapist

Goal directed therapy (GDT)

The overall aim is to study the effects of goal directed therapy (GDT) in children with cerebral palsy in an ecological setting, using the ICF-CY as a frame of reference.

Specific questions aim at evaluating the long-term effects of selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) in children with CP, as well as the effect of botulinum toxin A treatment, goal-training and orthotics in young children with CP.

Our aim is also to evaluate the effect of intravenous pamidronate therapy on everyday activities, well-being, and skeletal pain and bone density in children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) with the use of ICF as framework

Kontakt: Kristina Löwing, PhD, Physiotherapist

Biomechanics of human movement

Several projects within the multidiscipline of biomechanics are ongoing as a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and KTH Mechanics. The projects generally involve combining collected motion analysis data and computerized biomechanical modelling and simulation.

Person-specific biomechanical models

Biomechanical models frequently used in research and in clinical settings today are nearly always based on a generic scaled model, i.e., healthy adults, while their applications are very often in patient populations whose anatomy can be expected to deviate. This renders such models inaccurate and unreliable, and vastly limits their application.

This project aims to improve such models applicability to patient populations with motion disorders. The objectives are thus to develop person-specific models, thus taking into account an individuals deformities, altered muscle architecture, etc. The project has several main parts. One is the creation of person-specific musculoskeletal models.

Another aim is the computation and simulation of movement resulting from individual muscle activity, and the ideal or optimal standing or movement pattern based on an individuals set of physical capabilities, i.e., strength/weakness, range of motion, etc.

Dynamic muscle function

Muscles potential to induce movement during walking is affected by the body segments position and motion, by the direction and magnitude of the ground reaction force and by any deformities or malalignments that may be present. This project aim is to evaluate the motions that are induced by individual muscles in the lower extremities in persons with motor disorders at each instance during gait.

Kontakt: Elena Gutierrez-Farevik, PhD, Assoc Prof


Kontakt: Eva Weidenhielm Broström, PhD, Physiotherapist, group leader