Unilateral hand force control impairments in older women
Keywords:unilateral motor control, force control, motor dexterity, aging, older women
Older women may experience deficits in sensorimotor control at their upper limb because of aging progress compromising the motor system. This study aimed to investigate whether younger and older women differ in sensorimotor capabilities assessed by unilateral force control performances at a lower targeted force level. Twenty-one older and 21 younger women performed isometric unilateral force control tasks at 10 % of maximum voluntary contraction for each hand, respectively. Purdue Pegboard Test (PPT) was used to measure unilateral hand dexterity. Five force control variables (i.e., maximal and submaximal force, force error, variability, and regularity) and PPT scores were analyzed in two-way mixed ANOVAs (Group × Hand Condition), respectively. The absolute force power was analyzed in three-way mixed ANOVA (Group × Hand Condition × Frequency Band). The findings revealed that older women produced less maximal and submaximal unilateral forces than in younger women. Greater variability, regularity, and force frequency oscillations below 4 Hz were observed in older women as compared with those in younger women. Force error in the dominant hand was greater in older women than those in younger women. Finally, older women showed lower PPT scores than younger women. These findings suggested that older women may have deficits in unilateral force control capabilities as well as motor dexterity.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Hanall Lee, Young-Min Park, Nyeonju Kang
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