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Project 10732: QDISC



People involved:


Prof.dr. Jaap van Dieën
Project function: Project Leader
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dr.ir. Riender Happee
Project function: Co-applicant
Organisation: Technische Universiteit Delft

Prof.dr. Dirk Jan Veeger
Project function: Team member
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dr. Roberto Perez
Project function: Team member
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Medisch Centrum

Prof.dr. Wouter Zuurmond
Project function: Co-applicant
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Medisch Centrum

Paul van Drunen
Project function: PhD candidate
Organisation: Technische Universiteit Delft

Erwin Maaswinkel
Project function: PhD candidate
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Mariëtte Griffioen
Project function: PhD candidate
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Medisch Centrum

Prof.dr. Dick Stegeman
Project function: Team member
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dr. John Stins
Project function: Team member
Organisation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Prof.dr. Frans van der Helm
Project function: Team member, Program Leader
Organisation: Technische Universiteit Delft


Newsletter (2) November 2012

Project QDISC aims to develop methods to quantitatively assess neuromuscular control of trunk muscles in low back pain (LBP) patients. Furthermore, potential determinants of motor control changes (loss of proprioception, pain sensitization and paint-related fear) will be studied.

The potential diagnostic method consists of mechanical perturbations of the trunk and measurements of resulting kinematics and muscle activity (EMG). A model of trunk control has been developed to support interpretation of our findings. Currently, 3 groups of healthy subjects (including healthy elderly subjects) have been tested with an experimental set-up where the perturbation is applied on the back by a pushing device. In most of the subjects, quantification of reflexes and intrinsic stiffness through antagonistic co-contraction was possible.

Test-retest reliability has also been established. However, in the current set-up some subjects move primarily through the hips and SI-joint, resulting in less lumbar spine motion and thus a poor signal to noise ratio. Furthermore, it was shown that the tactile cue provided by the perturbation device (touching the back) may reduce effects of other sources of sensory feedback. An alternative method of perturbation (at the hips) has been tested with a 6 DOF platform in Delft. Preliminary results appear comparable in quality with those previously obtained. The first patient measurements have recently been obtained and will be expanded in the near future.


Newsletter (1) April 2012
 


Project QDISC aims to develop methods to quantitatively assess neuromuscular control of trunk muscles in low back pain (LBP) patients. Furthermore, several determinants of motor control changes (loss of proprioception, pain sensitization and paint-related fear) will be studied.

The potential diagnostic method includes mechanical perturbations of the trunk and measurements of resulting kinematics and muscle activity (EMG). Furthermore, a model of trunk control will be developed to support interpretation of our findings. Currently, 2 groups of healthy subjects have been tested with an experimental set-up where the perturbation is applied on the back by a pushing device. In most of the subjects, quantification of reflexes and antagonistic co-contraction was possible. Test-retest reliability has also been established. However, some subjects move primarily through the hips and SI-joint, resulting in less lumbar spine motion and thus a poor signal to noise ratio. Extending the analysis with kinematics and muscle activity of the pelvis can be informative but limits the practical applicability. Therefore, an alternative method of perturbation (at the hips) is currently being tested with the 6 DOF platform in Delft. Patient measurements will be conducted after ethical approval has been obtained

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Introduction
 


In the QDISC project, we will develop methods to quantitatively assess neuromuscular control of trunk muscles in LBP patients. Furthermore, we will study proprioceptive loss, pain sensitization and pain-related fear as determinants of motor control changes in LBP.

We will develop methods to identify trunk muscle control based on mechanical perturbations of the trunk and measurements of resulting kinematics and muscle activity and develop a model of trunk control to support interpretation of our findings. The methods developed will provide a quantitative assessment of neuromuscular control of trunk muscles, the effects of pain sensitization and the effects of pain-related fear, three important prognostic factors and treatment targets in LBP. It will thus provide the means to individualize treatment and thus contribute to more targeted treatment of patients with chronic LBP and prevention of chronicity in patients with sub-acute LBP. 

the QDISC project consist of 3 PhD projects :

  • at TU Delft MSc. in Mechanical Engineering, Control, Biomedical Engineering or related fields. with a strong background in Control, System Identification, Mechanical Engineering  
     
  • at VU University Amsterdam, MSc mechanical or biomedical engineering or Human Movement Sciences specialized in biomechanics or related fields with an affinity for and preferably experience with systems identification techniques;
     
  • at VU Medical Center, MSc human movement sciences or related fields
    with an affinity for patient-related research
For more information, please contact:
prof. Jaap H. van Dieën, PhD
professor of biomechanics
Research Institute MOVE
Faculty of Human Movement Sciences
VU University Amsterdam
VanderBoechorststraat 9
NL-1081 BT Amsterdam
the Netherlands
tel. +31 20 598 8501
fax +31 20 598 8529
j.vandieen@fbw.vu.nl
www.move.vu.nl

Partners

TMSi (Twente Medical Systems international), McRoberts (ambulatory monitoring), Motek Medical, MOOG (Medical Robotics), Heliomare Rehabilitation, RCA (Revalidatie Centrum Amsterdam), MRC (Militair Revalidatie Centrum Aardenburg)