Current projects in Active Aging 2.0
Haptic supplementation, postural control and gait
This project aims to explore the benefits of haptic supplementation delivered by a cane on postural control and gait parameters. It is conducted by the geriatric division of the AP-HM (Hospital Sainte Marguerite), in partnership with the Institute of Movement Sciences and the Centre Gérontologique Départemental (CGD13). For more information:
Institut des Sciences du Mouvement, AMU & CNRS, UMR 7287 & Pôle Gériatrique de l’AP-HM, Hôpital Sainte Marguerite. email: Patrick.VILLANI@ap-hm.fr – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tai-Chi training program and Mild Cognitive Impairment
This project aims to explore the effects of a Tai-Chi training program on various functional capacities in patients suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairments. Initiated by AG2R-La Mondiale, it is conducted by the Institute of Movement Sciences, in partnership with the neurologic division of the AP-HM (Hospital Sainte Marguerite) and the Centre Gérontologique Départemental (CGD13).
Aging stereotypes: antecedent and consequences in physical activity
The beneficial effects of regular physical activity on the health of older adults have been well-documented in the literature. However, this population is not sufficiently active against the current recommendations. The approach adopted in this research program was that physical inactivity was partly due to psychological barriers, notably aging stereotypes. The main objective was to identify the role of these stereotypes in physical activity domain among older adults. The results showed that (a) personality traits and implicit theories of ability are personal correlates of internalization of aging stereotypes (Emile et al., 2014 Psych Sp & Ex) ; (b) aging stereotypes predict health behaviors through self-perceptions and ego depletion effects (Emile et al., 2015 J of Gerontol: Psych Sc Series B) ; (c) personal stereotypes evolved positively among women older sedentary through appropriate intervention, and providing support to a malleable design stereotypes (Emile et al., 2014 Sc & Sp). This research program highlights the role of aging stereotype in the practice of physical activity among older adults, and suggests the interest of physical activity programs combined with counter-stereotypical information. For more information:
Laboratoire Motricité Humaine, Education, Sport, Santé (LAMHESS – EA 6312), Université de Nice. email: Fabienne.D-ARRIPE-LONGUEVILLE@unice.fr
Evaluation platform for early diagnosis of frailty and functional decline
Frailty is considered as highly prevalent in old age and confer high risk for falls and functional decline. Because of the reversibility of the frailty syndrome, it is very important to develop management strategies for early detection and prevention. The CIU-Santé (Centre innovation et usage en santé, Nice), the Nice University Hospital and the Laboratory of Human Motricity, Education Sport and Health (LAMHESS, EA 6312) of the Faculty of Sport Sciences (Nice) have developed an evaluation platform for early diagnosis of frailty and functional decline. This platform is multidisciplinary and includes evaluation and researchers from physiology, biomechanics and human and social sciences. The clinical objective of the platform is to detect as early as possible frail elderly patients in order to guide them toward the care programs (including physical activity). The scientific objective is to identify new markers of frailty and to develop new methods of rehabilitation for elderly people. For more information:
Laboratoire Motricité Humaine, Education, Sport, Santé (LAMHESS – EA 6312), Université de Nice. email: email@example.com
Neurophysiological and mechanical properties of Triceps Surae muscles in fallers and non fallers elderly people
Aging is frequently associated with a decreased postural stability, essentially after 60 years, leading to an increased risk of falling. It was reported that the negative effects of aging of the neuromuscular system, especially for plantar flexor muscles, are involved in postural instability and falls in elderly. This project aims to characterize the neuromuscular system of elderly with recent fall history. We propose to assess the maximal force production, the maximal voluntary activation, the spinal excitability and the synergy of plantar flexor muscles in elderly fallers (age>70 years; n=30), elderly non-fallers (age>70 years; n=30) and young adults (age<30 years; n=30). We also assess the postural stability of subjects in upright standing on force platform to analyze the center of pressure displacement. The relationships between neuromuscular data and 1/ the postural stability and 2/ the history of falling will be analyzed. Therefore, we manage to determine which neuromuscular characteristics are most involved in postural instability. The results of this study should help to propose adequate intervention on neuromuscular function to improve postural stability and reduce the incidence of falls. This research is supported in part by grants from the Region des Pays de la Loire, France. For more information:
Laboratoire Motricité, Interactions, Performance (EA 4334, Université de Nantes) – Pôle Hospitalo-Universitaire de Gérontologie Clinique du CHU de Nantes.eamil: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research and Development
For confidentiality reasons, detailed contents of the different projects are not provided.
Growing evidence demonstrates that aging not only leads to structural and functional alterations of individual components of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system (NMSS) but also results in a systemic re-organization of interactions within and between the different levels and functional domains. Understanding the principles that drive the dynamics of these reorganizations is an important challenge for aging research. The Coord-Age project is a contribution in this direction. Grounded on models and methods provided by a dynamical systems approach to coordination processes in complex living systems, the Coord-Age project aims to provide operational predictions to explore coordination dynamics, within and between these different levels. Ultimately, the objective is to develop a conceptualization of aging in the neuro-musculo-skeletal system based on the combination of the frameworks of coordination dynamics and loss of complexity. The Coord-Age project is conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Systems Neuroscience and the Centre Gérontologique Departemental (CGD13). It is granted by the AM*Idex foundation. For more information:
Jean-Jacques Temprado, Institut des Sciences du Mouvement – AMU & CNRS – UMR 7287. email: email@example.com.
Cognitive and motor domains are often considered separately in the aging literature, both conceptually and experimentally. However, during aging, sensorimotor control processes and higher cognitive functions become more and more intertwined in complex movement tasks. Such cognitive-motor dedifferentiation is an important facet of age-related functional plasticity of brain and cognition. A first objective of the present project is to explore how cognitive-motor dedifferentiation affects motor adaptability that is, transient flexibility and learning of complex coordinated movements. Moreover, intrinsic plasticity of the aging brain can be exploited through various types of intervention – e.g., metabolic exercise and coordination training — to improve cognitive performance. A second objective of the present project is to explore the effects of metabolic exercise and coordination training on cognitive resources, cognitive-motor interactions and behavioral adaptability in complex movements tasks. These objectives will be achieved through pluridisciplinary studies carried out in the theoretical context of the dynamical systems approach. Plastic-Age is granted by AG2R-La Mondiale and by Region PACA. For more information:
Jean-Jacques Temprado, Institut des Sciences du Mouvement – AMU & CNRS – UMR 7287. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several studies have demonstrated that aging is accompanied by strategic variations resulting in age-related differences in cognitive performance. Strategic variations are correlated with changes in executive control and are associated with different patterns of brain activations. The VieilStrat project addresses these different issues by thoroughly focusing on the complex link between age, cognitive performance (problem solving, memory, and motor behavior), executive functions, strategic variations, and patterns of behavior and brain activations. These issues are important for both fundamental and practical reasons. Indeed, not only they provide insights regarding aging processes but they also should offer better means to protect against or modulate aging effects. A variety of behavioral data (memory, motor, and problem solving strategies, executive functions, eye movements), and brain-imaging data (fMRI, ERPs) in normal young and older adults will be collected. Headed by Professor Patrick Lemaire, the project involves three research groups from Aix-Marseille University (LPC-UMR CNRS 7290; ISM-UMR CNRS 7287) and the University of Tours (CeRCA-UMR CNRS 6234). VieilStrat is granted by ANR.
For more information:
Patrick Lemaire, LPC, AMU & CNRS, UMR 7290. email: email@example.com
Effects of power training on functional capacity and fatigue of frail elderly people
Frailty is considered highly prevalent in old age and confer high risk for falls and functional decline. Previous studies showed that muscle power (ie, the ability to generate muscular work per unit of time) represents a more important determinant of physical function than does muscle strength (ie, the ability to exert maximal muscular force) in elderly people. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of a power training on fatigue and functional capacities of frail elderly individuals (age 82.65±4.9). Maximal muscle power (knee flexors/extensors), neuromuscular fatigue (knee extensors), isokinetic maximal power (knee extensors), as well as hand grip strength improved significantly with the concurrent exercise training. Hence, power training seems to be a very effective way to improve overall physical status of frail older subjects, and prevent disability.Effects of power training on functional capacity and fatigue of frail elderly people. For more information:
Laboratoire Motricité Humaine, Education, Sport, Santé (LAMHESS – EA 6312). Université de Nice. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Neuromuscular factors associated with decline in performance in master athletes
During the last decade, due to the rapid increase in the number of master or veteran participants in endurance sporting competitions, many studies attempted to identify metabolic factors associated with the decrease in endurance, especially long-distance running performance with ageing, focusing on decreases in maximal oxygen consumption. However, neuromuscular factors have been less studied despite the well-known phenomena of strength loss with ageing. For master athletes to perform better in long-distance running events, it is important to reduce muscle fatigue and/or muscle damage, to improve locomotion efficiency and to facilitate recovery. To date, no consensus exists that regular endurance training is beneficial for improving locomotion efficiency, reducing muscle fatigue and muscle damage, and enhancing recovery capacity in master athletes. Some recent studies seem to indicate that master athletes have similar muscle damage to young athletes, but they require a longer recovery time after a long-distance running event. More attention should be directed towards the capacity to maintain muscle function with training and the role of neuromuscular factors in long-distance performance decline with ageing using a more cellular and molecular approach. For more information:
Laboratoire Motricité Humaine, Education, Sport, Santé (LAMHESS – EA 6312), Université de Nice. email: email@example.com
Mobility and executive inhibitory control in healthy and frail elderly people
Inhibitory process has been shown to be critical for daily motor activities in older adults such as postural control and step initiation. Previous studies suggested that the perceptual subcomponent inhibitory process could to be specifically involved in the integration of proprioceptive information necessary for an efficient postural performance in older adults. This ongoing study aimed to investigate the perceptual and motor inhibition requirements of planning and executing a choice step initiation task in young and older adults following experimental perturbation of proprioceptive information using bilateral Achilles’ tendon vibrations. Different groups (n~50 each) of young adults (range age 18-30 years), and healthy older adults or dysexecutive patients (>65 years of age) are asked to perform an inhibitory stepping reaction time (RT) task in which the participants had to step as quickly as possible in response to visual arrows that manipulated specific perceptual or motor inhibition, in two conditions: with or without vibrations. The preliminary results showed that the vibrations induced higher RT performances irrespective of the perceptual or motor inhibition demands. More participants continue to be included to determine robustly whether modulating afferent proprioceptive inputs and inhibition are two processes that share, at least in part, the same cognitive resources in older adults, while executing a choice step. This research is supported in part by grants from the Region des Pays de la Loire, France. For more information:
Laboratoire Motricité, Interactions, Performance (EA 4334, Université de Nantes) – Pôle Hospitalo-Universitaire de Gérontologie Clinique du CHU de Nantes.email: firstname.lastname@example.org