JOURNAL ARTICLE

Contribution of primary motor cortex to compensatory balance reactions

David A E Bolton, Laura Williams, W Richard Staines, William E McIlroy
BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13: 102
22898241

BACKGROUND: Rapid compensatory arm reactions represent important response strategies following an unexpected loss of balance. While it has been assumed that early corrective actions arise largely from sub-cortical networks, recent findings have prompted speculation about the potential role of cortical involvement. To test the idea that cortical motor regions are involved in early compensatory arm reactions, we used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to temporarily suppress the hand area of primary motor cortex (M1) in participants prior to evoking upper limb balance reactions in response to whole body perturbation. We hypothesized that following cTBS to the M1 hand area evoked EMG responses in the stimulated hand would be diminished. To isolate balance reactions to the upper limb participants were seated in an elevated tilt-chair while holding a stable handle with both hands. The chair was held vertical by a magnet and was triggered to fall backward unpredictably. To regain balance, participants used the handle to restore upright stability as quickly as possible with both hands. Muscle activity was recorded from proximal and distal muscles of both upper limbs.

RESULTS: Our results revealed an impact of cTBS on the amplitude of the EMG responses in the stimulated hand muscles often manifest as inhibition in the stimulated hand. The change in EMG amplitude was specific to the target hand muscles and occasionally their homologous pairs on the non-stimulated hand with no consistent effects on the remaining more proximal arm muscles.

CONCLUSIONS: Present findings offer support for cortical contributions to the control of early compensatory arm reactions following whole-body perturbation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
22898241
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"