Viruses. 2022 Oct 28;14(11):2389. doi: 10.3390/v14112389.
BACKGROUND: Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection can be associated with tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP/HAM), which causes neurological myelopathy and sensory and muscle tone alterations, leading to gait and balance impairments. Once trunk perturbation is predicted, the motor control system uses anticipatory and compensatory mechanisms to maintain balance by recruiting postural muscles and displacement of the body’s center of mass.
METHODS: Twenty-six participants (control or infected) had lower limb muscle onset and center of pressure (COP) displacements assessed prior to perturbation and throughout the entire movement.
RESULTS: Semitendinosus (ST) showed delayed onset in the infected group compared to the control group. The percentage of trials with detectable anticipatory postural adjustment was also lower in infected groups in the tibialis anterior and ST. In addition, COP displacement in the infected group was delayed, had a smaller amplitude, and took longer to reach the maximum displacement.
CONCLUSIONS: HTLV-1 infected patients have less efficient anticipatory adjustments and greater difficulty recovering their postural control during the compensatory phase. Clinical assessment of this population should consider postural stability during rehabilitation programs.