RANJANA MEHTA (2015-09-15 to 2018-08-31) Obesity, Stress, and Neuromuscular Function in the Elderly. Amount: $347527
? Advancing age is associated with progressive decline in neuromuscular function, owing to changes in the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system that dramatically reduces functional independence and quality of life of older adults. An additional and significant concern in the older population is the alarming rate of increase in obesity prevalence. Approximately 40% of older adults are obese and it is estimated that nearly half of adults above 65 years of age will be obese by 2030. The burdening effects of obesity on the aging musculoskeletal system have been linked to falls, mobility impairments and decreased physical activity. However, very little information is available on obesity related changes in functional brain activation during fatigue development, defined as the fall of maximal force-generating capacity, in older adults. Additionally, stress among older adults is a growing public health concern that can adversely impact healthy aging, and can further exacerbate neuromuscular functioning in the obese older population; however, no published data exist to date. The objective of this project is to examine the impact of obesity and stress on neural activation patterns associated with upper and lower extremity neuromuscular function critical to important activities of daily living such as holding/grasping and balance/locomotion in adults 65 years or older. In addition to biomechanical outcomes of neuromuscular function, the proposed work will incorporate functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to define the unique patterns of functional brain activity associated with obesity and stress in older adults. Based on our preliminary work, we hypothesize that an obesity-related decline in neuromuscular function across different tasks and stress conditions will be associated with unique neural activation patterns observed in task-related brain regions. The hypothesis will be tested with two specific aims. We will identify obesity-specific neural activation patterns associated with neuromuscular fatigue in older adults (Aim 1) and determine the impact of stress on neuromuscular control and associated neural activation patterns in non-obese and obese older adults (Aim 2). Outcomes expected here are important because they will provide a level of analysis - brain function - that previously has been absent from biomechanical reports of physical functioning with obesity in the elderly. Promoting brain health throughout life is an important public health goal. Thus, this study can be expected to have a positive impact on improving therapeutic/preventive strategies aimed at enhancing brain, and subsequent physical and mental, health for the growing number of obese elderly Americans.
？由于中枢神经系统和肌肉骨骼系统的变化大大降低了老年人的功能独立性和生活质量，因此年龄增长与神经肌肉功能的进行性下降有关。老年人口中另一个重要的问题是肥胖患病率增加的惊人速度。大约40％的老年人肥胖，据估计，到2030年，将近一半的65岁以上的成年人将肥胖。肥胖对衰老的肌肉骨骼系统的负担影响与跌倒，行动障碍和体力活动减少有关。 。然而，关于肥胖相关的疲劳发育期间功能性脑激活变化的信息很少，定义为老年人最大力量产生能力的下降。此外，老年人的压力是一种日益严重的公共卫生问题，可能对健康老龄化产生不利影响，并可能进一步加剧肥胖老年人的神经肌肉功能;但是，到目前为止还没有公布的数据。该项目的目的是检查肥胖和压力对与上肢和下肢神经肌肉功能相关的神经活动模式的影响，这些模式对于日常生活的重要活动至关重要，例如65岁或以上的成年人的保持/抓握和平衡/运动。除了神经肌肉功能的生物力学结果外，拟议的工作还将结合功能性近红外光谱（fNIRS）来定义与老年人肥胖和压力相关的功能性大脑活动的独特模式。基于我们的初步工作，我们假设在不同的任务和压力条件下，与肥胖相关的神经肌肉功能下降将与在任务相关的大脑区域中观察到的独特的神经激活模式相关联。该假设将通过两个具体目标进行测试。我们将确定与老年人神经肌肉疲劳相关的肥胖特异性神经活动模式（目标1），并确定压力对非肥胖和肥胖老年人神经肌肉控制和相关神经活动模式的影响（目标2）。这里预期的结果很重要，因为它们将提供一定程度的分析 - 大脑功能 - 以前在老年人肥胖的身体功能的生物力学报告中没有。在整个生命中促进大脑健康是一个重要的公共卫生目标。因此，预计这项研究将对改善治疗/预防策略产生积极影响，这些策略旨在为越来越多的肥胖老年美国人增强大脑，以及随后的身心健康。
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