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[Detection of Heel-off Initiation Based on the Relationship Between Ground Reaction Forces and Surface Electromyography: Heel-toe, Heel-toe, a Story]

Description

The global population over the age of 60 is estimated to rise to 23% by 2050 only increase the prevalence of functional neurological disorders and stroke. Increase in cases of functional neurological disorders and strokes will place a greater burden

The global population over the age of 60 is estimated to rise to 23% by 2050 only increase the prevalence of functional neurological disorders and stroke. Increase in cases of functional neurological disorders and strokes will place a greater burden on the healthcare industry, specifically physical therapy. Physical therapy is vital for a patient’s recovery of motor function which is time demanding and taxing on the physical therapist. Wearable robotics have been proven to improve functional outcomes in gait rehabilitation by providing controlled high dosage and high-intensity training. Accurate control strategies for assistive robotic exoskeletons are vital for repetitive high precisions assistance for cerebral plasticity to occur.

This thesis presents a preliminary determination and design of a control algorithm for an assistive ankle device developed by the ASU RISE Laboratory. The assistive ankle device functions by compressing a spring upon heel strike during gait, remaining compressed during mid-stance and then releasing upon initiation of heel-off. The relationship between surface electromyography and ground reactions forces were used for identification of user-initiated heel-off. The muscle activation of the tibialis anterior combined with the ground reaction forces of the heel pressure sensor generated potential features that will be utilized in the revised control algorithm for the assistive ankle device. Work on this project must proceed in order to test and validate the revised control algorithm to determine its accuracy and precision.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Can Startle Elicit Sequential Movements in Highly Trained Individuals?

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Most daily living tasks consist of pairing a series of sequential movements, e.g., reaching to a cup, grabbing the cup, lifting and returning the cup to your mouth. The process by which we control and mediate the smooth progression of

Most daily living tasks consist of pairing a series of sequential movements, e.g., reaching to a cup, grabbing the cup, lifting and returning the cup to your mouth. The process by which we control and mediate the smooth progression of these tasks is not well understood. One method which we can use to further evaluate these motions is known as Startle Evoked Movements (SEM). SEM is an established technique to probe the motor learning and planning processes by detecting muscle activation of the sternocleidomastoid muscles of the neck prior to 120ms after a startling stimulus is presented. If activation of these muscles was detected following a stimulus in the 120ms window, the movement is classified as Startle+ whereas if no sternocleidomastoid activation is detected after a stimulus in the allotted time the movement is considered Startle-. For a movement to be considered SEM, the activation of movements for Startle+ trials must be faster than the activation of Startle- trials. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect that expertise has on sequential movements as well as determining if startle can distinguish when the consolidation of actions, known as chunking, has occurred. We hypothesized that SEM could distinguish words that were solidified or chunked. Specifically, SEM would be present when expert typists were asked to type a common word but not during uncommon letter combinations. The results from this study indicated that the only word that was susceptible to SEM, where Startle+ trials were initiated faster than Startle-, was an uncommon task "HET" while the common words "AND" and "THE" were not. Additionally, the evaluation of the differences between each keystroke for common and uncommon words showed that Startle was unable to distinguish differences in motor chunking between Startle+ and Startle- trials. Explanations into why these results were observed could be related to hand dominance in expert typists. No proper research has been conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of the non-dominant hand's fingers to SEM, and the results of future studies into this as well as the results from this study can impact our understanding of sequential movements.

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2018-05

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An Investigation of the UNDP's Human Development Report (HDR): A Case Study of Algeria and Morocco

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The primary goal of this paper is to analyze a tool used for measuring human
development on a global scale. Originally, development within a country was solely judged by the degree of economic growth by way of Gross National Product

The primary goal of this paper is to analyze a tool used for measuring human
development on a global scale. Originally, development within a country was solely judged by the degree of economic growth by way of Gross National Product (GNP) and per capita income. Holistically, GNP measures the total extent of economic activity of a country’s people within a given time period. (Rutherford, 2012). Critics found several issues with this one-dimensional approach of measuring human development. What failed to be recognized was the distribution of income among the country’s citizens. Higher incomes often favor men within the majority when compared to women and people of minority groups (Feiner & Roberts, 1990). GNP also failed to recognize the social limitations under a government. In other words, are there limitations as to what goods can be bought and who can buy them?

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Date Created
2020-05

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A Personal Journey Through Physical Fitness

Description

A Personal Journey Through Physical Fitness chronicles one individual's academic and physical journey through fitness. An ex college gymnast after exiting formal sports looks to academics for the answers to accomplish the goal of working out one hour a day

A Personal Journey Through Physical Fitness chronicles one individual's academic and physical journey through fitness. An ex college gymnast after exiting formal sports looks to academics for the answers to accomplish the goal of working out one hour a day and feeling as well as being physically fit as a result. This research resulted in finding the five pillars of physical fitness; which are Endurance, Flexibility, Strength, Balance, and Agility. After determining that these were the five primary pillars of physical fitness a workout plan was made based on and focused on improving them. This work out plan included running and hiking for endurance, high intensity interval training for agility, endurance and strength, stretching at the end of every work out, and a weightlifting program that utilized push, pull, and lower body days. It also utilized yoga for flexibility, recovery, and balance. Additionally, gymnastic ring strength was included to help develop balance and strength. Then a four-week trial period was executed taking measurements at the beginning and end of the plan. The results of the five-pillar plan were quantified using physical metrics. There was improvement in all of the pillars: Endurance, Flexibility, Strength, Balance, and Agility. However it should be noted there was not a direct measure for balance making its improvement much more subjective and qualitative than quantitative. In addition to having physical metrics of health and increased fitness there were mental side effects such as of feeling good and more relaxed throughout the process. At the end of each week of the four-week workout trial mental and physical feelings were recorded and included in the study. The method and plan were successful and created in a way that others could follow this four-week plan to improve their own physical health.

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2018-05

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Startle can evoke individuated movements of the fingers; implications for neural control

Description

Startle-evoked-movement (SEM), the involuntary release of a planned movement via a startling stimulus, has gained significant attention recently for its ability to probe motor planning as well as enhance movement of the upper extremity following stroke. We recently showed that

Startle-evoked-movement (SEM), the involuntary release of a planned movement via a startling stimulus, has gained significant attention recently for its ability to probe motor planning as well as enhance movement of the upper extremity following stroke. We recently showed that hand movements are susceptible to SEM. Interestingly, only coordinated movements of the hand (grasp) but not individuated movements of the finger (finger abduction) were susceptible. It was suggested that this resulted from different neural mechanisms involved in each task; however it is possible this was the result of task familiarity. The objective of this study was to evaluate a more familiar individuated finger movement, typing, to determine if this task was susceptible to SEM. We hypothesized that typing movements will be susceptible to SEM in all fingers. These results indicate that individuated movements of the fingers are susceptible to SEM when the task involves a more familiar task, since the electromyogram (EMG) latency is faster in SCM+ trials compared to SCM- trials. However, the middle finger does not show a difference in terms of the keystroke voltage signal, suggesting the middle finger is less susceptible to SEM. Given that SEM is thought to be mediated by the brainstem, specifically the reticulospinal tract, this suggest that the brainstem may play a role in movements of the distal limb when those movements are very familiar, and the independence of each finger might also have a significant on the effect of SEM. Further research includes understanding SEM in fingers in the stroke population. The implications of this research can impact the way upper extremity rehabilitation is delivered.

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2016-12

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A Literature Review of the Lack of Prenatal Healthcare in Third World Countries

Description

The dilemma of the lack of prenatal and neonatal healthcare has been prevalent among third world countries for many years. The lack of prenatal healthcare has been shown to have direct links to spontaneous preterm births from which low-birth weight

The dilemma of the lack of prenatal and neonatal healthcare has been prevalent among third world countries for many years. The lack of prenatal healthcare has been shown to have direct links to spontaneous preterm births from which low-birth weight in babies can be a result. The World Health Organization has identified preterm birth as one of the biggest overseen burdens in developing countries.
This study seeks to answer the research questions: What are the major risk factors associated with the lack of prenatal and neonatal healthcare in developing countries? What are potential routes of intervention (ROI) to help these countries? The goal is to analyze the risk factors and determine if there are any ROIs available to minimize potential incidents or accidents associated with complications of preterm birth.
A few potential risk factors include: poverty, a mother’s lack of education, a lack of professional visitation during pregnancy, having a short cervix, and routine use of Ultrasound. This research paper has identified that keeping ultrasound diagnostics to a minimum, seeking professional help during pregnancy, incorporating corticosteroids for preterm births, implementing Kangaroo Mother Care, and Cervical Cerclage are interventions that can reduce preterm births and the associated complications that come with it. We believe that further research, regarding compliance of each of these interventions, would show reduction of preterm births and low birth weight in developing countries.

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Date Created
2019-05

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FIRMA: Force Impact Recognition Mouth Guard for Athletes, a Validation Study

Description

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are mechanical events which can derive from no specific activity or event. However, these injuries occur often during athletic and sporting events but many athletes experiencing these symptoms go undiagnosed and continue playing without proper

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are mechanical events which can derive from no specific activity or event. However, these injuries occur often during athletic and sporting events but many athletes experiencing these symptoms go undiagnosed and continue playing without proper medical attention. The current gold standard for diagnosing athletes with concussions is to have medical professionals on the sidelines of events to perform qualitative standardized assessments which may not be performed frequently enough and are not specialized for each athlete. The purpose of this report is to discuss a study sanctioned by Arizona State University's Project HoneyBee and additional affiliations to validate a third-party mouth guard device product to recognize and detect force impacts blown to an athlete's head during athletic activity. Current technology in health monitoring medical devices can allow users to apply this device as an additional safety mechanism for early concussion awareness and diagnosis. This report includes the materials and methods used for experimentation, the discussion of its results, and the complications which occurred and areas for improvement during the preliminary efforts of this project. Participants in the study were five non-varsity ASU Wrestling athletes who volunteered to wear a third-party mouth guard device during sparring contact at practice. Following a needed calibration period for the devices, results were recorded both through visual observation and with the mouth guard devices using an accelerometer and gyroscope. This study provided a sound understanding for the operation and functionality of the mouth guard devices. The mouth guard devices have the capability to provide fundamental avenues of research for future investigations.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Startle-evoked movement in multi-jointed, two-dimensional reaching tasks

Description

Previous research has shown that a loud acoustic stimulus can trigger an individual's prepared movement plan. This movement response is referred to as a startle-evoked movement (SEM). SEM has been observed in the stroke survivor population where results have shown

Previous research has shown that a loud acoustic stimulus can trigger an individual's prepared movement plan. This movement response is referred to as a startle-evoked movement (SEM). SEM has been observed in the stroke survivor population where results have shown that SEM enhances single joint movements that are usually performed with difficulty. While the presence of SEM in the stroke survivor population advances scientific understanding of movement capabilities following a stroke, published studies using the SEM phenomenon only examined one joint. The ability of SEM to generate multi-jointed movements is understudied and consequently limits SEM as a potential therapy tool. In order to apply SEM as a therapy tool however, the biomechanics of the arm in multi-jointed movement planning and execution must be better understood. Thus, the objective of our study was to evaluate if SEM could elicit multi-joint reaching movements that were accurate in an unrestrained, two-dimensional workspace. Data was collected from ten subjects with no previous neck, arm, or brain injury. Each subject performed a reaching task to five Targets that were equally spaced in a semi-circle to create a two-dimensional workspace. The subject reached to each Target following a sequence of two non-startling acoustic stimuli cues: "Get Ready" and "Go". A loud acoustic stimuli was randomly substituted for the "Go" cue. We hypothesized that SEM is accessible and accurate for unrestricted multi-jointed reaching tasks in a functional workspace and is therefore independent of movement direction. Our results found that SEM is possible in all five Target directions. The probability of evoking SEM and the movement kinematics (i.e. total movement time, linear deviation, average velocity) to each Target are not statistically different. Thus, we conclude that SEM is possible in a functional workspace and is not dependent on where arm stability is maximized. Moreover, coordinated preparation and storage of a multi-jointed movement is indeed possible.

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2016-12

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The Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet on the Human Body and Mind

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This paper begins by exploring the prior research that has shown how eating a plant-based diet can affect the human body. Some of these effects include: improved mood, energy levels, gut health, alkalized urine pH, as well as, lowering the

This paper begins by exploring the prior research that has shown how eating a plant-based diet can affect the human body. Some of these effects include: improved mood, energy levels, gut health, alkalized urine pH, as well as, lowering the risk of hormonal imbalance, kidney stones, diabetes, cancer, and coronary artery disease. The worries that generally accompany eating a fully vegan diet, which include, malnutrition and protein deficiency, are also addressed in the background research. In attempt to build upon previous research, a weeklong experiment was conducted testing 3 different factors, which include: gut health, improved mood, and urine pH. Mood states were measured quantifiably using a POMS (profile of mood states) test. Gut health was measured using several factors, including consistency and frequency of bowel movements, as well as, GI discomfort. Two 24-hour urine samples were collected from each of the subjects to compare the pH of their urine before and after the study. The sample size of this study included 15 healthy, non-smoking, subjects, between 18-30 years of age. The subjects were split up into 3 stratified random samples, including, an omnivore control group, vegan control group, and experimental vegan group. The experimental vegans had eaten meat/eggs/dairy regularly for their whole lives before the start of the study, and had consented to eating a vegan diet for the entirety of one week. While the data from the control groups remained mostly constant as predicted, the results from the experimental group were shown to have a significantly better mood (P<0.05) after one week, as well as, a significantly higher urine pH (P < 0.025) than they did before the study. However, the experimental group did not show a significant change in stool frequency, consistency, or GI discomfort within one week. The vegan control group, which included subjects who had eaten a plant-based diet for 1-3 years, had much better gut health scores. This leads us to believe that the vegan gut microbiome takes much longer to transform into than just one week unlike urine pH and mood, which can take as little as one week. These findings warrant further investigation.

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Date Created
2017-05