Treadmill Training Effect on Kinematics: An Aging Study in Rats
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Aging causes dramatic changes in the locomotion of animals, including the human animal. Treadmill training has been used frequently as a method to improve locomotion and to gather kinematic data that can quantify locomotor ability. Rats are one of the premier models of human disease, in which treadmill locomotion is readily observed and quantified. Several studies have looked at changes in the H-reflex (Caron et al. in Neurobiol Aging 42:61–68, 2016) in old rats, but an in-depth examination of changes in locomotion in old rats has not been a significant focus of past works, despite the utility of such non-invasive data.
Here, we investigate changes in the locomotor kinematics of aged rats with treadmill training, over a 4-week treadmill training regime.
Our results show that the ankle and knee angles are significantly more flexed on the last day of training compared to the first day. Additionally, we use principal components analysis to find additional features extracted from the kinematics that change across training sessions.
Our results suggest that the required training for consistent running at higher speeds for older rats is approximately 3 weeks. We also showed some joint angles were more flexed after training sessions. Thus, future work will build on these results by extracting higher-order features with which to evaluate a treatment for aged animals, by including data from young and old rats that do or do not, receive the treatment.
KeywordsAging Kinematics Treadmill training Biomechanics Neuroscience
This work is supported by Shriners Hospitals for Children Grant #85115 to Andrew Spence. This work is further supported by Neilsen Foundation Senior Research Grant #546798 to A. Spence.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Animal procedures were approved by the Temple University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, under ACUP #4675 to Andrew Spence.
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