Reduced cortical brain activity with the use of microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knees during walking

Published on 2018-10-30T12:00:00Z (GMT) by
<div>Background:<p>Individuals using a lower-limb prosthesis indicate that they need to concentrate on every step they take. Despite self-reports of increased cognitive demand, there is limited understanding of the link between cognitive processes and walking when using a lower-limb prosthesis.</p>Objective:<p>The objective was to assess cortical brain activity during level walking in individuals using different prosthetic knee components and compare them to healthy controls. It was hypothesized that the least activity would be observed in the healthy control group, followed by individuals using a microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee and finally individuals using a non-microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee.</p>Study design:<p>Cross-sectional study.</p>Methods:<p>An optical brain imaging system was used to measure relative changes in concentration of oxygenated and de-oxygenated haemoglobin in the frontal and motor cortices during level walking. The number of steps and time to walk 10 m was also recorded. The 6-min walk test was assessed as a measure of functional capacity.</p>Results:<p>Individuals with a transfemoral or knee-disarticulation amputation, using non-microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee (<i>n</i> = 14) or microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee (<i>n</i> = 15) joints and healthy controls (<i>n</i> = 16) participated in the study. A significant increase was observed in cortical brain activity of individuals walking with a non-microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee when compared to healthy controls (<i>p</i> < 0.05) and individuals walking with an microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee joint (<i>p</i> < 0.05).</p>Conclusion:<p>Individuals walking with a non-microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee demonstrated an increase in cortical brain activity compared to healthy individuals. Use of a microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee was associated with less cortical brain activity than use of a non-microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee.</p>Clinical relevance<p>Increased understanding of cognitive processes underlying walking when using different types of prosthetic knees can help to optimize selection of prosthetic components and provide an opportunity to enhance functioning with a prosthesis.</p></div>

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Möller, Saffran; Rusaw, David; Hagberg, Kerstin; Ramstrand, Nerrolyn (2018): Reduced cortical brain activity with the use of microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knees during walking. SAGE Journals. Collection.