A1 Journal article (refereed)
Older Age Increases the Amplitude of Muscle Stretch-Induced Cortical Beta-Band Suppression But Does not Affect Rebound Strength (2020)

Walker, S., Monto, S., Piirainen, J. M., Avela, J., Tarkka, I. M., Parviainen, T. M., & Piitulainen, H. (2020). Older Age Increases the Amplitude of Muscle Stretch-Induced Cortical Beta-Band Suppression But Does not Affect Rebound Strength. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 12, Article 117. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00117

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Walker, Simon; Monto, Simo; Piirainen, Jarmo M.; Avela, Janne; Tarkka, Ina M.; Parviainen, Tiina M.; Piitulainen, Harri

Journal or series: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

ISSN: 1663-4365

eISSN: 1663-4365

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 12

Article number: 117

Publisher: Frontiers Media

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00117

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/70038

Additional information: The datasets generated for this study are available on request to the corresponding author.


Healthy aging is associated with deterioration of the sensorimotor system, which impairs balance and somatosensation. However, the exact age-related changes in the cortical processing of sensorimotor integration are unclear. This study investigated primary sensorimotor cortex (SM1) oscillations in the 15–30 Hz beta band at rest and following (involuntary) rapid stretches to the triceps surae muscles (i.e., proprioceptive stimulation) of young and older adults. A custom-built, magnetoencephalography (MEG)-compatible device was used to deliver rapid (190°·s−1) ankle rotations as subjects sat passively in a magnetically-shielded room while MEG recorded their cortical signals. Eleven young (age 25 ± 3 years) and 12 older (age 70 ± 3 years) adults matched for physical activity level demonstrated clear 15–30 Hz beta band suppression and rebound in response to the stretches. A sub-sample (10 young and nine older) were tested for dynamic balance control on a sliding platform. Older adults had greater cortical beta power pre-stretch (e.g., right leg: 4.0 ± 1.6 fT vs. 5.6 ± 1.7 fT, P = 0.044) and, subsequently, greater normalized movement-related cortical beta suppression post-proprioceptive stimulation (e.g., right leg: −5.8 ± 1.3 vs. −7.6 ± 1.7, P = 0.01) than young adults. Furthermore, poorer balance was associated with stronger cortical beta suppression following proprioceptive stimulation (r = −0.478, P = 0.038, n = 19). These results provide further support that cortical processing of proprioception is hindered in older adults, potentially (adversely) influencing sensorimotor integration. This was demonstrated by the impairment of prompt motor action control, i.e., regaining perturbed balance. Finally, SM1 cortex beta suppression to a proprioceptive stimulus seems to indicate poorer sensorimotor functioning in older adults.

Keywords: ageing; motor functions; kinaesthesia; muscle strength; MEG

Free keywords: event-related desynchronization (ERD); sensorimotor; lower limbs; proprioception; somatosensory processing; MEG

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 11:09