Muscle Weakness Condition | Vibrational-proprioceptive Resistance Exercise Training Versus Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Training in Elderly People With Muscle Weakness

Muscle Weakness Condition research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Study the structural behaviours of weak muscle of elderly and evaluate the efficiency of two different types of training.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - age related muscle weakness - age between 65-85 years - all inclusion criterias must be fullfilled Exclusion Criteria: - recent hip or knee endp-prosthesis (within last 2 years), longstanding immobility - body mass index greater than 40 - acute thrombosis in lower extremity (within last 3 weeks) - severe articular effusion - acute infection - known myopathy - relevant neurological diseases with gait disorders (e.g. poly neuropathy, Parkinson's disease) - dementia, impaired cognitive abilities - diseases of the vestibular system causing vertigo or impairing balance - symptomatic cardio pulmonal diseases within the last 6 months - not or insufficient treated hypertonia - rheumatic diseases - other relevant functional impairment of the musculo-skeletal system caused by surgery, trauma or degenerative diseases - pain in the lower extremity (VAS > 5) - if one of the above criteria applies the subject will be excluded from the study

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Muscle Weakness Condition

Therapy Effect

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Device:Vibrational-proprioceptive Resistance Exercise Training

Device:Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Training

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

LegpressSubjects in the LP group train on a custom built, computer controlled, linear electric motor powered leg press device. The so called "swinging" vibrational-proprioceptive mode is used, which means that constant velocity of the pedals (0.3 m/s and 0.2 m/s for concentric and eccentric phase, respectively) are interrupted by short stops (every 8 mm), resulting in short force peaks appearing throughout the movement. Training load is progressively increased throughout the training.

E-StimES training is performed with a custom-built battery-powered stimulator. The subject are seated over the edge of the therapeutic table with the trunk upright and lower legs freely swinging. Two conductive rubber electrodes covered by wet sponge are placed on the anterior thigh on each side of the body. The electrode pairs are connected to the independent channels of the stimulator and the left and the right thigh are stimulated in an alternative manner. Each repetition (i.e. ES evoked muscle contraction) is evoked by a 3.5 s train (60 Hz) of electrical pulses (rectangular, biphasic, width 0.6 ms). Consecutive contractions of the same thigh are separated by 4.5 s off intervals. Maximal tolerable intensity should be used and is monitored during the training sessions. In all the subjects this should induce a tetanic contraction of the stimulated muscles.

ControlThis group only perform the same measurements as the intervention groups and lives their live as usual in between.

Study Status


Start Date: June 2008

Completed Date: March 2015

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Maximum voluntary knee extension torque

Secondary Outcome:

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Helmut Kern, MD PhD

Lead Sponsor: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Electrical Stimulation and Physical Rehabilitation

Collaborator: European Union

More information:

Kern H, Pelosi L, Coletto L, Musarò A, Sandri M, Vogelauer M, Trimmel L, Cvecka J, Hamar D, Kovarik J, Löfler S, Sarabon N, Protasi F, Adami N, Biral D, Zampieri S, Carraro U. Atrophy/hypertrophy cell signaling in muscles of young athletes trained with vibrational-proprioceptive stimulation. Neurol Res. 2011 Dec;33(10):998-1009. doi: 10.1179/016164110X12767786356633.

Krenn M, Haller M, Bijak M, Unger E, Hofer C, Kern H, Mayr W. Safe neuromuscular electrical stimulator designed for the elderly. Artif Organs. 2011 Mar;35(3):253-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.2011.01217.x.

Nejc S, Jernej R, Loefler S, Kern H. Sensitivity of body sway parameters during quiet standing to manipulation of support surface size. J Sports Sci Med. 2010 Sep 1;9(3):431-8. eCollection 2010.

Sarabon N, Rosker J, Loefler S, Kern H. The effect of vision elimination during quiet stance tasks with different feet positions. Gait Posture. 2013 Sep;38(4):708-11. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Sarabon N, Loefler S, Cvecka J, Sedliak M, Kern H. Strength training in elderly people improves static balance: a randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Translational Myology - Basic Applied Myology 23(3):85-89, 2013.

Sedliak M, Cvecka J, Tirpakova V, Loefler S, Sarabon S, Kern H, Hamar D. Reliability of novel postural sway task test. European Journal of Translational Myology - Basic Applied Myology 23(3):81-84, 2013.

Kern H, Loefler S, Burggraf S, Fruhmann H, Cvecka J, Sedliak M, Barberi L, De Rossi M, Musarò A, Carraro U, Mosole S, Zampieri S. Elektrostimulation verhindert die Altersbedingte Atrophie der Muskulatur beim Menschen. Eur J of Trans Myol 23(3):105-108, 2013.

Hendling M, Krenn M, Haller MA, Loefler S, Kern H, Mayr W. Compliance monitoring of home based electrical stimulation training of elderly subjects. Biomed Tech (Berl). 2013 Aug;58 Suppl 1. pii: /j/bmte.2013.58.issue-s1-A/bmt-2013-4006/bmt-2013-4006.xml. doi: 10.1515/bmt-2013-4006. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

Zampieri S, Pietrangelo L, Loefler S, Fruhmann H, Vogelauer M, Burggraf S, Pond A, Grim-Stieger M, Cvecka J, Sedliak M, Tirpáková V, Mayr W, Sarabon N, Rossini K, Barberi L, De Rossi M, Romanello V, Boncompagni S, Musarò A, Sandri M, Protasi F, Carraro U, Kern H. Lifelong physical exercise delays age-associated skeletal muscle decline. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Feb;70(2):163-73. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu006. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Mosole S, Carraro U, Kern H, Loefler S, Fruhmann H, Vogelauer M, Burggraf S, Mayr W, Krenn M, Paternostro-Sluga T, Hamar D, Cvecka J, Sedliak M, Tirpakova V, Sarabon N, Musarò A, Sandri M, Protasi F, Nori A, Pond A, Zampieri S. Long-term high-level exercise promotes muscle reinnervation with age. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2014 Apr;73(4):284-94. doi: 10.1097/NEN.0000000000000032.

Kern H, Barberi L, Löfler S, Sbardella S, Burggraf S, Fruhmann H, Carraro U, Mosole S, Sarabon N, Vogelauer M, Mayr W, Krenn M, Cvecka J, Romanello V, Pietrangelo L, Protasi F, Sandri M, Zampieri S, Musaro A. Electrical stimulation counteracts muscle decline in seniors. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Jul 24;6:189. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00189. eCollection 2014.

Cvecka J, Tirpakova V, Sedliak M, Kern H, Mayr W, Hamar D. Physical Activity in Elderly. Eur J Transl Myol. 2015 Aug 25;25(4):249-52. doi: 10.4081/ejtm.2015.5280. eCollection 2015 Aug 24. Review.

Zampieri S, Mosole S, Löfler S, Fruhmann H, Burggraf S, Cvečka J, Hamar D, Sedliak M, Tirptakova V, Šarabon N, Mayr W, Kern H. Physical Exercise in Aging: Nine Weeks of Leg Press or Electrical Stimulation Training in 70 Years Old Sedentary Elderly People. Eur J Transl Myol. 2015 Aug 25;25(4):237-42. doi: 10.4081/ejtm.2015.5374. eCollection 2015 Aug 24. Review.

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