Dankzij de Rubicon beurs van NWO mag ik twee jaar werken aan mijn eigen onderzoek op Imperial College London! Dit is wat mijn onderzoek inhoudt:
Ageing-related mobility impairments resulting from progressive movement limitations pose societal and economic burdens on our population. Ageing is accompanied by loss of physical properties such as muscle strength and power, bone health, and (joint)pain, for which elderly develop coping mechanisms in their movement strategies. Furthermore, movement strategies are influenced by preferences in movement objectives, in terms of avoidance of risk (stability, speed) and pain, as well as energy efficiency. Scientists and clinicians do not yet fully understand the effects of decline of each individual physical property and movement objective, on the movement strategies of elderly, since only their combined actions can be observed. Therefore, it is unknown how much decline of each variable can be tolerated before daily activities become impaired, which impedes developments of (preventive) therapies.
The aim of my study is to determine these individual and combined effects of decline, using a dynamic computational model that can quantitatively predict (simulate) how human movement strategies change as a result from progressively changing age-related physical properties and movement objectives. I develop forward neuro-musculoskeletal models adjusted to ageing to perform these simulations. The models can support clinicians in prescribing more effective and efficient treatment to prolong mobility in elderly.