Tanner Thorsen1, Michael Bohne1, Ross Taylor1, McKenna Prieto1, Juan Cruz1, Tyler Standifird1 1 Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, USA
Introduction: To date, there is limited research showing how skeletal muscle in individuals with unilateral schizencephaly responds to traditional weight training programs. In all cases of schizencephaly motor impairment is by far the most frequent deficit. Examining strength increases that could be achieved in individuals with unilateral schizencephaly has clinical, as well as rehabilitative potential to help these individuals achieve a wider range of muscular independence, thereby improving their quality of life. It is hypothesized that skeletal muscles affected by unilateral schizencephaly will see a similar percent strength gain (torque production) when compared to unaffected skeletal muscles after an 8-week strength training program. Furthermore, it is estimated that the skeletal muscles affected by unilateral schizencephaly will exhibit a greater percent increase in electromyography (EMG) signal activity after the 8-week training program as compared to the unaffected contralateral skeletal muscles. Methods: The participant underwent an 8-week periodized unilateral independent lifting protocol performed on machine and cable weights. During the 8-week program, a pre-test, mid-test, and post-test were administered using an isokinetic BioDex protocol and Electromyography system to measure functional muscle strength as well as muscle stimulation. Results: EMG signal increased for the left (affected) biceps brachii muscle as well as the vastus lateralis and medialis muscles in the left (affected) leg. No increase was shown for right biceps brachii muscle, right vastus lateralis muscle, right vastus medialis muscle, as well as right and left rectus femoris muscles. Average peak torque increased for the participants left (affected) leg and right (unaffected) arm, yet remained constant or even declined slightly for the right (unaffected) leg and left (affected) arm. Conclusion: Observation of skeletal muscle affected by unilateral schizencephaly shows a positive response to strength training. It is proposed that future studies should be conducted to investigate how strength training more specifically affects unilateral schizencephaly on 1) gross motor function/gait analysis/range of motion, 2) neurological function.