Muscular activation and corticospinal excitability adaptations to split crank cycling

Kitchen, Nick M. (2014). Muscular activation and corticospinal excitability adaptations to split crank cycling. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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Foot drop is a common motor impairment of the lower limb caused by Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) that can limit mobility and increase risk of falls. Split Crank (SC) cycling is proposed here as a novel paradigm to evoke functional neural plasticity and beneficial muscular adaptations to treat foot drop.
Healthy participants were randomly assigned to SC or FC conditions for a 5 day intervention. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) evoked stimulus-response curves (SRCs) for tibialis anterior (TA) and muscle kinematic activation patterns for TA, soleus (SOL), biceps femoris (BF) and vastus lateralis (VL) during cycling were recorded before and after the first and last training sessions.
SRCs revealed no beneficial TA corticospinal excitability adaptations to training but significant increases in duration of TA and BF activity were reported for TA and BF during SC cycling (p < .05). This occurred as an immediate response on initial exposure to the task.
The strength of evidence for implementing SC cycling with ABI patients in the treatment of foot drop was weaker than hoped. However, increased duration of TA activation shows promise as beneficial for foot drop sufferers. Completion of the study provided new information on an unexplored exercise therapy and useful observations for facilitating clinical translation in the future.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine


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