Full-text articles are available at http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/10/472/contents.html

Newswise — Manuscripts featured in this issue include—

Feasibility of controlling prosthetic hand using sonomyography signal in real time: Preliminary study, pg. 87

This article investigates the feasibility of using sonomyography as a control source for a prosthetic hand in real time. Sonomyography is the process of using sonography to detect structural changes in muscle, such as thickness, angle, length and cross-sectional area. Because structural changes in muscles are closely associated with muscle activity, this study validates the feasibility of using sonomyography to control a 1-degree-of-freedom prosthetic hand. The sonomyography signal extracted from the forearm extensor smoothly controlled the opening and closing of the prosthetic hand with the fast block-matching algorithm.

Quantitative assessment of pressure sore generation and healing through numerical analysis of high-frequency ultrasound images, pg. 99

In this study, researchers evaluated the accuracy of a mathematical equation in modeling the healing process of artificially induced pressure sores by using high-frequency (20 MHz) ultrasound images to extract parameters relevant to tissue echographic structure and attenuation properties. The study findings suggest the potential of this method for evaluating the healing process of pressure sores and predicting rate of healing.

Competitive employment for consumers who are legally blind: A 10-year retrospective study, pg. 109

This study investigated competitive employment rates over a 10-year period (fiscal years 1997– 2007) for consumers who are legally blind. This study also compared differences in wages for consumers who were employed when they applied for services versus when they retained or advanced in employment at case closures. Results show that rates of employment and wages steadily increased over the period of analysis for consumers who are legally blind.

Reflex responses to combined hip and knee motion in human chronic spinal cord injury, pg. 117

This study characterized the relative role of hip and knee proprioceptive stimuli in triggering extensor spasms in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Although extensor spasms are common in people with SCI, including veterans, the precise triggers for multijoint extensor spasms are not well understood. Results from this study demonstrated that the position of the hip or knee modulates the spastic reflexes triggered by extension movement of the other joint (knee or hip), with larger responses observed with the opposite joint in the extended position. This knowledge may help identify rehabilitation strategies for producing functional movements in people with SCI.

Spectral and entropy changes for back muscle fatigability following spinal stabilization exercises, pg. 133

This study evaluated the potential usefulness of Shannon entropy of electromyography signals as a clinical tool to measure pain following intervention. As an indicator of pain, researchers investigated back muscle fatigue following a 4-week exercise intervention in subjects with chronic low back pain by comparing entropy levels and median frequency slopes of electromyography signals. Study results indicated a significant decrease in participant’s pain levels and a decrease in entropy, demonstrating a significant interaction between the two. The slope of the median frequency also decreased but did not demonstrate any interaction with pain level.

Wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint loading associated with an adult manual transitwheelchair in rear impact, pg. 143

This study confirmed that forces on wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems differ greatly in frontal- and rear-impact scenarios. The study results found front tiedown loads in rear- impact crashes to be substantially higher than previously reported for front tiedown loads in frontal impact. Rear tiedown loads were negligible. This research adds to the literature on the proper design of wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems and the protection of wheelchair-seated occupants subjected to rear-impact events.

Rollator use and functional outcome of geriatric rehabilitation, pg. 151

In this study, researchers found that that use of rollators does not interfere with functional gains and geriatric rehabilitation outcomes. Device users, regardless of their walking aid experience, demonstrated nearly comparable mobility, strength, and balance improvements during inpatient rehabilitation for this study. More than half of each cohort (controls, n = 22; first-time users, n = 17; long-term users, n = 18) achieved functional gains in the Timed Up-and-Go, Five-Times-Sit-to-Stand, and Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment–Balance motor tests.

Construct validity of RT3 accelerometer: A comparison of level-ground and treadmillwalking at self-selected speeds, pg. 157

The RT3 triaxial accelerometer is a waist-mounted device used to measure physical activity within a range of populations. This study examined differences in accelerometer output when subjects walked on level ground and on a treadmill. Study results showed no differences in RT3 accelerometer activity counts when comparing treadmill and level-ground walking at either normal or brisk walking speeds within this cohort of nondisabled volunteers.

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JRRD, Volume 47, Issue 2