Kinesiology Department Graduate Student Publications

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  • Publication
    Contributing factors to postural stability in Prader-Willi syndrome
    (2023-01-01) Rubin, Daniela A.; Rose, Debra J.; Escano, Derrick L.; Holmes, Skylar C.; Garcia, Steven A.; Pamukoff, Derek N.
    Background Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder affecting multiple functional parameters. This study examined postural stability and associated gait and neuromuscular factors in young adults with PWS. Methods Participants included 10 adults with PWS [7 M/3F; Body Fat % 40.61 ± 7.79]; ten normal weight (NW) adults [7 M/3F; Body Fat % 23.42 ± 7.0]; ten obese (OB) adults [7 M/3F; Body Fat % 42.40 ± 5.62]. Participants completed the Sensory Organization Test (SOT)®. Condition (C) specific and a composite equilibrium score (CES) were calculated (maximum = 100). Quadriceps strength was assessed using an isokinetic dynamometer. Three-dimensional gait analyses were completed along a 10 m walkway using a motion capture system and two force plates. A gait stability ratio (GSR) was computed from gait speed and step length (steps/m). Results The PWS group had lower scores for C1, C3, C4 and CES compared to the NW (p < .039 for all) and lower scores for C4 and CES than the OB (p < .019 for both) groups, respectively. In C5 (eyes closed, sway-referenced support) and C6 (sway-referenced vision and support), 33.3% of participants with PWS fell during the first trial in both conditions (X2 [2] 7.436, p = .024) and (X2 [2] 7.436, p = .024) but no participant in the other groups fell. Those with PWS showed higher GSR than participants with NW (p = .005) and those with obesity (p = .045). Conclusion Individuals with PWS had more difficulty maintaining standing balance when relying on information from the somatosensory (C3), visual-vestibular (C4) and vestibular systems (C5, C6). A more stable walk was related to shorter steps, slower velocity and reduced peak quadriceps torque. Participation in multisensory activities that require appropriate prioritization of sensory system(s) input for controlling balance in altered sensory environments should be routinely included. In addition, exercises targeting muscular force and power should be included as part of exercise programming in PWS.
  • Publication
    Bone mineral density and its relationship with ground reaction force characteristics during gait in young adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome
    (2023-01-01) Rubin, Daniela A.; Holmes, Skylar C.; Ramirez, Jacqueline; Garcia, Steven A.; Shumski, Eric J.; Pamukoff, Derek N.
    Introduction The incidence of osteopenia and osteoporosis is of concern in adults with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Walking generates reaction forces that could stimulate bone mineralization and is popular in people with PWS. This study compared bone parameters and ground reaction forces (GRF) during gait between young adults with PWS and without PWS and explored associations between bone and GRFs during gait. Methods 10 adults with PWS, 10 controls with obesity (OB) and 10 with normal weight (NW) matched on sex participated. Segmental and full body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scans provided femoral neck, spine, total body minus the head bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC). Vertical GRF, vertical impulse, posterior force and negative impulse were measured during 5 walking trials at a self-selected speed along a 10 m runway. Results Multivariate analyses of variance showed that adults with PWS (n = 7–8) had hip and body BMD and BMC comparable (p > .050) to NW and lower (p < .050) than OB. Adults with PWS showed slower speed than NW (p < .050) but similar to OB (p > .050). Adults with PWS presented lower absolute vertical GRF, vertical impulse and negative impulse than OB (p < .050). Pearson r correlations (p < .050) in those with PWS (n = 7–8) indicated that femoral neck BMC was associated with vertical GRF (r = 0.716), vertical impulse (r = 0.780), posterior force (r = −0.805), and negative impulse (r = −0.748). Spine BMC was associated with speed (r = 0.829) and body BMD was associated with speed (r = 0.893), and posterior force (r = −0.780). Conclusions Increased BMC in the femoral neck and body were associated with larger breaking forces during walking, a phenomenon normally observed at greater gait speeds. Faster walking speed was associated with greater BMC in the spine and body. Our preliminary results suggest that young adults with PWS could potentially benefit from faster walking for bone health; however, larger prospective studies are needed to confirm this.