Publications by authors named "N M Maurits"

137 Publications

Age-dependent modulation of motor network connectivity for skill acquisition, consolidation and interlimb transfer after motor practice.

Clin Neurophysiol 2021 Aug 8;132(8):1790-1801. Epub 2021 May 8.

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands; Institute of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, Faculty of Sciences, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary; Somogy County Kaposi Mór Teaching Hospital, Kaposvár, Hungary.

Objective: Age-related differences in neural strategies for motor learning are not fully understood. We determined the effects of age on the relationship between motor network connectivity and motor skill acquisition, consolidation, and interlimb transfer using dynamic imaging of coherent sources.

Methods: Healthy younger (n = 24, 18-24 y) and older (n = 24, 65-87 y) adults unilaterally practiced a visuomotor task and resting-state electroencephalographic data was acquired before and after practice as well as at retention.

Results: The results showed that right-hand skill acquisition and consolidation did not differ between age groups. However, age affected the ability to transfer the newly acquired motor skill to the non-practiced limb. Moreover, strengthened left- and right-primary motor cortex-related beta connectivity was negatively and positively associated with right-hand skill acquisition and left-hand skill consolidation in older adults, respectively.

Conclusion: Age-dependent modulations of bilateral resting-state motor network connectivity indicate age-specific strategies for the acquisition, consolidation, and interlimb transfer of novel motor tasks.

Significance: The present results provide insights into the mechanisms underlying motor learning that are important for the development of interventions for patients with unilateral injuries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2021.03.051DOI Listing
August 2021

Three Days of Measurement Provide Reliable Estimates of Daily Tremor Characteristics: A Pilot Study in Organic and Functional Tremor Patients.

Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y) 2021 04 21;11:13. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Neurology, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Background: Long-term tremor recording is particularly useful for the assessment of overall severity and therapeutic interventions in tremor patients. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the optimal number of days needed to obtain reliable estimates of tremor percentage, tremor frequency variability and tremor intensity in tremor patients using long-term tremor recordings.

Methods: Participants were 18 years or older and were diagnosed with tremor by a movement disorders specialist. Participants wore an accelerometer on the wrist of the most affected arm during 30 consecutive days. Tremor presence, frequency variability and intensity were calculated per day. We used reliability analysis to determine the minimum number of days needed to obtain reliable estimates of these tremor characteristics.

Results: Data from 36 adult organic (OrgT) and functional tremor (FT) patients (24 males; mean age 63.9 ± 11.9 years; 15 FT) were analyzed. Using five hours per day, one day of measurement is enough, except for tremor frequency variability in the OrgT group, where three days are needed and for tremor intensity where two days are always needed.

Discussion: Visual analysis suggested that reliability can be increased considerably by using data from three days instead of one day even when using six hours of data per day. Three days with at least three hours of tremor data provide estimates of tremor percentage, frequency variability and intensity with good to excellent reliability, both for organic and functional tremor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/tohm.603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8103847PMC
April 2021

Neural Correlates of Motor Skill Learning Are Dependent on Both Age and Task Difficulty.

Front Aging Neurosci 2021 22;13:643132. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.

Although a general age-related decline in neural plasticity is evident, the effects of age on neural plasticity after motor practice are inconclusive. Inconsistencies in the literature may be related to between-study differences in task difficulty. Therefore, we aimed to determine the effects of age and task difficulty on motor learning and associated brain activity. We used task-related electroencephalography (EEG) power in the alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) frequency bands to assess neural plasticity before, immediately after, and 24-h after practice of a mirror star tracing task at one of three difficulty levels in healthy younger (19-24 yr) and older (65-86 yr) adults. Results showed an age-related deterioration in motor performance that was more pronounced with increasing task difficulty and was accompanied by a more bilateral activity pattern for older vs. younger adults. Task difficulty affected motor skill retention and neural plasticity specifically in older adults. Older adults that practiced at the low or medium, but not the high, difficulty levels were able to maintain improvements in accuracy at retention and showed modulation of alpha TR-Power after practice. Together, these data indicate that both age and task difficulty affect motor learning, as well as the associated neural plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2021.643132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019720PMC
March 2021

Intermuscular coherence analysis in older adults reveals that gait-related arm swing drives lower limb muscles via subcortical and cortical pathways.

J Physiol 2021 04 19;599(8):2283-2298. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, POB 30.001, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Key Points: Gait-related arm swing in humans supports efficient lower limb muscle activation, indicating a neural coupling between the upper and lower limbs during gait. Intermuscular coherence analyses of gait-related electromyography from upper and lower limbs in 20 healthy participants identified significant coherence in alpha and beta/gamma bands indicating that upper and lower limbs share common subcortical and cortical drivers that coordinate the rhythmic four-limb gait pattern. Additional directed connectivity analyses revealed that upper limb muscles drive and shape lower limb muscle activity during gait via subcortical and cortical pathways and to a lesser extent vice versa. The results provide a neural underpinning that arm swing may serve as an effective rehabilitation therapy concerning impaired gait in neurological diseases.

Abstract: Human gait benefits from arm swing, as it enhances efficient lower limb muscle activation in healthy participants as well as patients suffering from neurological impairment. The underlying neuronal mechanisms of such coupling between upper and lower limbs remain poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to examine this coupling by intermuscular coherence analysis during gait. Additionally, directed connectivity analysis of this coupling enabled assessment of whether gait-related arm swing indeed drives lower limb muscles. To that end, electromyography recordings were obtained from four lower limb muscles and two upper limb muscles bilaterally, during gait, of 20 healthy participants (mean (SD) age 67 (6.8) years). Intermuscular coherence analysis revealed functional coupling between upper and lower limb muscles in the alpha and beta/gamma band during muscle specific periods of the gait cycle. These effects in the alpha and beta/gamma bands indicate involvement of subcortical and cortical sources, respectively, that commonly drive the rhythmic four-limb gait pattern in an efficiently coordinated fashion. Directed connectivity analysis revealed that upper limb muscles drive and shape lower limb muscle activity during gait via subcortical and cortical pathways and to a lesser extent vice versa. This indicates that gait-related arm swing reflects the recruitment of neuronal support for optimizing the cyclic movement pattern of the lower limbs. These findings thus provide a neural underpinning for arm swing to potentially serve as an effective rehabilitation therapy concerning impaired gait in neurological diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP281094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8252748PMC
April 2021

Functional connectivity differences in Alzheimer's disease and amnestic mild cognitive impairment associated with AT(N) classification and anosognosia.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 05 8;101:22-39. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Neurology, Groningen, the Netherlands; University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Alzheimer Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Behavior, Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Alzheimer's continuum biological profiles (ATN, ATN, ATN, and ATN) were established in the 2018 National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association research framework for Alzheimer's disease (AD). We aim to assess the relation between AT(N) biomarker profiles and brain functional connectivity (FC) and assess the neural correlates of anosognosia. We assessed local functional coupling and between-network connectivity through between-group intrinsic local correlation and independent component analyses. The neural correlates of anosognosia were assessed via voxel-wise linear regression analysis in prodromal AD. Statistical significance for the FC analysis was set at p ≤ 0.05 false discovery rate (FDR)-corrected for cluster size. One hundred and twenty-one and 73 participants were included in the FC and the anosognosia analysis, respectively. The FC in the default mode network is greater in prodromal AD than AD with dementia (i.e., local correlation: T = 8.26, p-FDR < 0.001, k = 1179; independent component analysis: cerebellar network, T = 4.01, p-FDR = 0.0012, k = 493). The default mode network is persistently affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's biological continuum. The anterior cingulate cortex (T = 2.52, p-FDR = 0.043, k = 704) is associated with anosognosia in prodromal AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.12.021DOI Listing
May 2021
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