Neuromuscular fatigue in people with chronic stroke
The aim of this study was to examine and compare the contribution of central neuromuscular fatigue and peripheral neuromuscular fatigue to total neuromuscular fatigue in the hemiplegic leg of people with stroke, with that of a matched control group.Study Design: This experimental study utilised a repeated measures block design.Participants: Fifteen people with chronic stroke who had mild to moderate physical disability and fifteen age, height and weight matched controls were compared.Main outcome measures: Participants physical function was evaluated using the 30s Chair Stand Test, Comfortable Paced Walking Speed and Fast Paced Walking Speed. Neuromuscular function was measured using maximal voluntary isometric contraction force and voluntary activation. Total neuromuscular fatigue, central neuromuscular fatigue and peripheral neuromuscular fatigue was measured during a 90 second sustained maximal voluntary isometric contraction of the quadriceps muscle.Results: The fatigue profile of stroke participants differed from that of control participants. Stroke participants demonstrated less total neuromuscular fatigue (U=41.00, p=.026) and less peripheral neuromuscular fatigue (U=14.00, p=.000) than the control participants. While stroke participants did demonstrate greater central neuromuscular fatigue than control participants, this finding was not statistically significant (U=80.00, p=.817).Conclusions: Statistically significant differences were found in the performance of people with mild to moderate physical disability following stroke on measures of neuromuscular fatigue when compared to age, weight and height matched healthy adults.