Guang Yue on Rehabilitation Engineering
In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, we are talking with Guang Yue, PhD. He is the director of the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation.
Below is an excerpt from the conversation.
Rob Gerth: At the University of Iowa, you ended up studying sensorimotor neuroscience. Tell me how you got into that.
Guang Yue: It's more like motor control. It's motor control, but the program is called sensorimotor neuroscience. And also, it's related to exercise science. The department is called Exercise Science. But the department has many different PhD programs. There's biomechanics. There was motor control, sensorimotor neuroscience. There was exercise physiology, which is more related to metabolism and those things. And there was also programs related to sports or athletic training and administration.
RG: Tell me about neurofactor.
GY: It is how strongly your brain can generate a signal to your muscle. So if you could do a voluntary contraction, you cannot generate any force or strength without your voluntary command from your brain to go to your muscle. So this command or this signal, everybody, normal people, for example, this command is always not big enough to recruit all your muscle fibers. There's a big reserve in your muscles, even though you try your hardest.
RG: Without actually moving (a muscle), you're just thinking about what it'd be like to move it. And then, go ahead, what did you discover there?
GY: There was a 22% increase of the strength (of the muscle) after four weeks of training like three times a week. Three times a week and about 15 to 20 minutes each time. So people get more than a 20% increase of strength.
RG: Tell me about your cancer weakness study.
GY: So this cancer weakness study right now. So basically, we ask people to generate low muscle force by applying strong mental effort. So it's [really to use that low level?] because when you always ask people to keep the muscles silent, that's really difficult. But if you allow them to have-- not look at the muscle activity but mainly concentrate on the mind, even though there are some muscle activity but it's okay because everybody can generate some muscle activity as long as it's not too high for a patient, for example.