Neuromuscular Research Laboratory:
Scott Bickel, Ph.D., is the director of this facility that is located within the Spain Rehabilitation Center. The lab contains all necessary equipment for in vivo, human neuromuscular performance testing. Equipment includes: customized leg extension machine to assess both isometric or dynamic muscle strength, surface EMG, force and electrogoniometry recording systems, load cells, and electrical stimulators. Interests include studying both central and peripheral mechanisms of muscle fatigue; optimizing electrical stimulation parameters in an effort to reduce the degree of muscle fatigue that often occurs with electrical stimulation; and assessing neuromuscular performance before and after training programs in special populations.
*Past and current funding received from both private foundations and the National Institutes of Health.
Human Performance Laboratory:Laboratory capabilities include assessments of neuromuscular, metabolic, cardiorespiratory, and functional performance, as well as the use of exercise interventions into research endeavors. Also available is technology for assessing sensitive measures of force and power performance. A summary of major laboratory equipment includes: a Biodex mulit-joint dynamometer, a custom-built muscle performance data acquisition system, a Cosmed metabolic measurement system, an electromyography system, one treadmill, five cycle ergometers, four weight training machines, and free weights. Current research projects supported by the laboratory include the Frequency of Aerobic/Resistance Training in Older Women and the Evaluation of an Oral Nutritional Supplement Containing a Derivative of Leucine in Malnourished and Frail Subjects.
Motion Analysis Lab:This lab is designed to assess movement (kinematic and kinetic) and functionally related changes and functional changes in adult mobility and balance. The lab has 2 AMTI force plates and 8 camera VICON motion analysis system.
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This lab is also focused on the development of novel apparati useful for rehabilitation. Two examples include a tilt-cycle ergometer used to measure, during pedaling tasks, weakness in paretic muscles, limb loading capability, speed of movement, lateral balance stability, and rhythmic muscle activity and a new collaborative robotics system, the KineAssist MAX, a gait and balance system. This system allows the study of balance and postural responses to challenging functional tasks such as stairs, stepping over objects, and forward/backward pushes.
Past and current funding received for UAB stroke research and other studies from the Foundation of Physical Therapy, Veteran’s Association, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the National Institutes of Health.