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Design of methos for assessing processes of neurological and neuromuscular decline associated with aging

Total activity: 7
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
133.100,00 €
Start date
End date
World population is rapidly aging as consequence of decreasing mortality and birthrates. Globally, the number of the elderly is expected to
be more than double, from 841 million people in 2013 to more than 2 billion in 2050. Aging has major social and economic impact as
neurological and neuromuscular deficits affect cognitive skills and muscular performance. Demographic change is a recognized challenge
that has been included in both the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation and in different topics in the Work Program of
Horizon 2020.
The search for solutions to prevent, recover or slow the loss of physical and psychosocial skills is a major challenge in therapy nowadays.
For this reason, the main objective of this proposal is to develop an innovative ICT-based system directed to neurological and
neuromuscular decline in aging in order to support decision-making in rehabilitation and therapy. In this sense, a computer support system
based on the analysis of multichannel experimental data will be designed and developed to provide clinicians an interactive tool for
assessing cerebral and muscular activity in older adults with neurological and neuromuscular decline. Actually, the project is organized into
these two research lines.
The aim of the neurological line is the design of a system for the assessment of cerebral activity during mental exercise in older adults with
cognitive impairment. An electroencephalographic (EEG) signals database in groups with Alzheimer's disease and with different
impairment will be recorded. The efficacy of non-pharmacological therapies such as cognitive stimulation will be analyzed using objective
indexes calculated from EEG. Biomarkers based on spectral analysis, connectivity measures, topographic and tomographic EEG will be
considered aiming to validate their ability in evidencing cognitive decline and its use as early predictors of the progression of Alzheimers.
The neuromuscular line is aimed to the design of a computer platform for analyzing motor control in the elderly, taking into account muscle
imbalances and fatigue as assessed from the propagation of motor unit action potentials. Conditions associated with muscle function after
stroke and generalized weakness in aging will be considered by recording high density electromyographic (HD-EMG) signals databases
with a system that will be implemented during the project and validated for future translation to clinical practice. HD-EMG will allow the
analysis of motor unit spatial distribution and activation during fatigue or as result of motor intention using image representations of muscle
activity, and machine learning and pattern recognition techniques.
The project will be carried out by an interdisciplinary team of 16 researchers (10 engineers and 6 clinicians who will provide physiological
and medical interpretation of the results), 13 of them PhD. Another relevant issue is the internationality and excellence of the results
thanks to participation of well known foreign researchers. Four hospitals and medical centers will be directly involved in the project to
guarantee the application of the designed methods to the health care system. Finally, two biomedical companies for each research line
have shown their interest in transferring of results and in their commercial exploitation.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Call year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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