Research Activity @ 3MAP Lab 

SARCOPENIA STAGING & SCREENING

Sarcopenia remains an underdiagnosed condition in older adults. Our current laboratory efforts include the development of sonographic methods for the assessment of sarcopenia and myosteatosis.  We are developing and refining rapid, low-cost methods of sarcopenia screening and staging to improve the musculoskeletal health of older adults.  Importantly, our approach includes measuring both muscle mass and muscle quality.  The unique features of ultrasound imaging may for muscle tissue characteristics to be incorporated into the sarcopenia staging algorithm.

EXERCISE-BASED INTERVENTIONS
REHABILITATIVE ULTRASOUND

Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging (RUSI) is an approach to imaging using musculoskeletal diagnostic sonography.  RUSI applications are typically used to aid the implementation of therapeutic interventions in order to improve one's physical performance and functional status.  RUSI involves varied general ultrasound techniques that include both quantitative and qualitative assessment. Our group's work includes the technical development of specific RUSI applications regarding examiner reliability and image analysis.

THE ADULT MYOPATHY ASSESSMENT TOOL

Post-doctoral fellows in our laboratory are currently involved in exercise-based protocols to address polytrauma injuries and musculoskeletal impairments associated with aging. We are currently conducting a RCT involving eccentric strengthening exercise for the treatment of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. The qualities of eccentric muscle actions such as greater metabolic efficiency and higher torque production in comparison to concentric actions may be adapted and implemented for rehabilitation purposes in a variety of patient populations.

The AMAT is a standardized, performance-based tool that may be used to assess functional limitations and muscle endurance.  The tool was developed by Dr. Michael Harris-Love and colleagues at the NIH Clincal Center, Dr. Galen Joe, Mr. Joseph Shrader, and Dr. Todd Davenport (now at the University of the Pacific).  Initial reliability and validity studies have been conducted involving people with inflammatory myopathies and neuromuscular disease.  A new clinical study involving the AMAT and Veterans with neurological disease, lead by Dr. Bryant Seamon, is now underway.