Changes in soleus H-reflex during walking in middle-aged, healthy subjects

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Peter C Raffalt, Tine Alkjær, Erik B Simonsen

INTRODUCTION: To assess the effect of aging on stretch reflex modulation during walking, soleus H-reflexes obtained in 15 middle-aged (mean age 56.4±6.9 years) and 15 young (mean age 23.7±3.9 years) subjects were compared.

METHODS: The H-reflex amplitude, muscle activity (EMG) of the soleus and tibialis anterior muscles, and EMG/H-reflex gain were measured during 4-km/h treadmill walking.

RESULTS: The normalized H-reflex amplitude was lower in the swing phase for the middle-aged group, and there was no difference in muscle activity. EMG/H-reflex gain did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: H-reflex amplitude during walking was affected by aging, and changes during the swing phase could be seen in the middle-aged subjects. Subdividing the 2 age groups into groups of facilitated or suppressed swing-phase H-reflex revealed that the H-reflex amplitude modulation pattern in the group with facilitated swing-phase H-reflex may be influenced by aging.

TidsskriftMuscle & Nerve
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)419-25
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2015

ID: 135268653