Post-stroke muscle weakness is commonly thought to be the result of a combination of decreased voluntary activation and decreased maximum force generating ability (MFGA). We assessed the ability of muscle volumes obtained using MRI to estimate the MFGA of the plantar flexor muscle group in individuals post-stroke. MRI was used to measure muscle volume of the plantar flexor muscle group in 17 individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis. A modified burst superimposition test was used to measure force of volitional contraction and predict the MFGA of the plantar flexors. While muscle volume obtained by means of MRI provided information on the overall size of muscle, it overestimated the force generating ability of the paretic plantar flexors. Results suggest that MRI-derived muscle volume underestimates the functional impairment in individuals post-stroke. Interestingly, the central activation ratio had a strong relationship with the maximum volitional force of contraction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Physiology (medical)