Intracortical inhibition in the soleus muscle is reduced during the control of upright standing in both young and old adults

Selma Papegaaij, Stéphane Baudry, János Négyesi, Wolfgang Taube, Tibor Hortobágyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: In a previous study, we reported that a short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) decreases in old but not in young adults when standing on foam vs. a rigid surface. Here, we examined if such an age by task difficulty interaction in motor cortical excitability also occurs in easier standing tasks. Methods: Fourteen young (23 ± 2.7 years) and fourteen old (65 ± 4.1 years) adults received transcranial magnetic brain stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation, while they stood with or without support on a force platform. Results: In the soleus, we found that SICI was lower in unsupported (35 % inhibition) vs. supported (50 %) standing (p = 0.007) but similar in young vs. old adults (p = 0.591). In the tibialis anterior, SICI was similar between conditions (p = 0.597) but lower in old (52 %) vs. young (72 %) adults (p = 0.030). Age and standing with or without support did not affect the Hoffmann reflex in the soleus. Conclusions: The current data suggest that the motor cortex is involved in standing control, and that its role becomes more prominent with an increase in task difficulty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-967
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume116
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Balance
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation
  • Short-interval intracortical inhibition
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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