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M.R.C. van den Heuvel MSc (Maarten)

  • Kamernr:b-662
  • E-mail:m.r.c.vanden.heuvel@vu.nl
  • Onderdeel:faculteit der gedrags- en bewegingswetenschappen ( sectie coordination dynamics )

Research


IMPACT: Improving mobility and balance in Parkinson’s disease through circuit class
training
Effects on clinical outcomes, posturography and brain connectivity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poster presentation (click to view as PDF)

Background
There is growing evidence that physical training interventions such as exercise training and physical therapy can positively influence mobility and mobility-related problems in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) (De Goede et al. 2001; Kwakkel et al. 2007), but it is unclear if improvements in motor tasks (such as standing balance) are due to a restitution of function using existing dopaminergic pathways or due to substitution of function by means of compensation strategies using non-dopaminergic pathways. In order to develop training protocols that will better target the specific needs of PD patients it is of great relevance to gain more insight in these aspects of the rehabilitation process. In the present clinical trial (IMPACT), balance training using workstations that provide additional task-related visual feedback (facilitating substitution of function), will be compared with a usual care group following a balance exercise program without additional postural feedback (facilitating restitution of function).

This project is a collaboration between the VU University Faculty of Human Movement Sciences (Prof. Andreas Daffertshofer and Prof. Peter Beek) and the Department of Rehabilitation of the VU Medical Center (Prof. dr. Gert Kwakkel and Dr. Erwin van Wegen).
This project is in part funded by the Internationaal Parkinson Fonds.


Uncovering dynamic postural control through time-delayed visual feedback
This project aims to study the stochastic dynamics of postural control by means of timedelayed feedback.

The overarching goal of this project is to develop novel methods, experiments, and computational tools to understand how sensory feedback loops are implicated in the regulation of upright standing to stabilize balance. Data collected from healthy subjects and patients with specific neurological impairments will be collected and analyzed using concepts and computational techniques borrowed from the Lab picturephysics of complex systems. One expedient method to uncover the dynamics of nonlinear systems with multiple time scales is the introduction of a simple time delay in the feedback loop.

In addition, we intend to take a detailed look into the complex interplay of noise and postural control. Traditionally, the presence of noise has been regarded merely as a disturbing factor, especially in relation to feedback systems. However, recent demonstrations of stochastic resonance indicate a much more complex relationship. A method to analyze the deterministic and stochastic components of time series will be employed to further our understanding.

This project is embedded within the Coordination Dynamics research program of the MOVE research institute. My supervisors are Andreas Daffertshofer and Peter Beek. This project is part of a collaboration with Ramesh Balasubramaniam and André Longtin.

Publications

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