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Impaired balance control is a common problem experienced among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) that may lead to a loss of independence, a fear of falling, and a need for assistance in daily living situations.

In healthy individuals, the central nervous system (CNS) activates muscles prior to the performance of many daily activities such as lifting an arm or leg, thus helping to maintain balance. During prior work in the investigator's laboratory, they observed that a lack of such preparatory (anticipatory) activation of muscles could act as a source of instability, thereby increasing the probability of loosing balance. It is well-known that restoring balance control is considered an important goal of rehabilitation. However, therapeutic interventions designed to enhance balance control and promote independence in individuals with MS are quite limited partially due to the fact that there has been no research investigating anticipatory postural control in this population.

The project explores novel, untested idea and generates preliminary data that would open new direction of motor control research in multiple sclerosis.

(Grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

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