Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Age-Related Differences in Arm and Trunk Responses to First and Repeated Exposure to Laterally Induced Imbalances

Akinlosotu, Ruth Y. and Alissa, Nesreen and Sorkin, John D. and Wittenberg, George F. and Westlake, Kelly P. (2020) Age-Related Differences in Arm and Trunk Responses to First and Repeated Exposure to Laterally Induced Imbalances. Brain Sciences, 10 (9). p. 574. ISSN 2076-3425

Published Version

Download (2MB) | Preview


The objective of this study was to examine age-related differences in arm and trunk responses during first and repeated step induced balance perturbations. Young and older adults received 10 trials of unpredictable lateral platform translations. Outcomes included maximum arm and trunk displacement within 1 s of perturbation and at first foot lift off (FFLO), arm and neck muscle activity as recorded using electromyography (EMG), initial step type, balance confidence, and percentage of harness-assisted trials. Compared to young adults, older adults demonstrated greater arm and trunk angular displacements during the first trial, which were present at FFLO and negatively associated with balance confidence. Unlike young adults, recovery steps in older adults were directed towards the fall with a narrowed base of support. Over repeated trials, rapid habituation of first-trial responses of bilateral arm and trunk displacement and EMG amplitude was demonstrated in young adults, but was absent or limited in older adults. Older adults also relied more on harness assistance during balance recovery. Exaggerated arm and trunk responses to sudden lateral balance perturbations in older adults appear to influence step type and balance recovery. Associations of these persistently amplified movements with an increased reliance on harness assistance suggest that training to reduce these deficits could have positive effects in older adults with and without neurological disorders.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Akinlosotu, Ruth Y.
Alissa, Nesreen
Sorkin, John D.
Wittenberg, George F.geowitt@pitt.edugeowitt
Westlake, Kelly P.
Date: 20 August 2020
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Brain Sciences
Volume: 10
Number: 9
Publisher: MDPI AG
Page Range: p. 574
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/brainsci10090574
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Neurology
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: balance, falls, fear of falling, arm movement, postural perturbation
ISSN: 2076-3425
Official URL:
Funders: National Institute of Aging at the National Institutes of Health, Baltimore VA Medical Center Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2021 19:41
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2021 19:41


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item