Corticomuscular coherence is reduced in relation to dorsiflexion fatigability to the same extent in adults with cerebral palsy as in neurologically intact adults

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Purpose: Fatigue is frequent in adults with cerebral palsy (CP) and it is unclear whether this is due to altered corticospinal drive. We aimed to compare changes in corticospinal drive following sustained muscle contractions in adults with CP and neurologically intact (NI) adults.

Methods: Fourteen adults with CP [age 37.6 (10.1), seven females, GMFCS levels I-II] and ten NI adults [age 35.4 (10.3), 6 females] performed 1-min static dorsiflexion at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) before and after a submaximal contraction at 60% MVC. Electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) from the anterior tibial muscle were analyzed to quantify the coupling, expressed by corticomuscular coherence (CMC).

Results: Adults with CP had lower MVCs but similar time to exhaustion during the relative load of the fatigability trial. Both groups exhibited fatigability-related changes in EMG median frequency and EMG amplitude. The CP group showed lower beta band (16-35 Hz) CMC before fatigability, but both groups decreased beta band CMC following fatigability. There was a linear correlation between decrease of beta band CMC and fatigability-related increase in EMG.

Conclusion: Fatigability following static contraction until failure was related to decreased beta band CMC in both NI adults and adults with CP. Our findings indicate that compensatory mechanisms to fatigability are present in both groups, and that fatigability affects the corticospinal drive in the same way. We suggest that the perceived physical fatigue in CP is related to the high relative load of activities of daily living rather than any particular physiological mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1459-1471
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Corticomuscular coherence, Fatigue, Fatigability

ID: 302045886