Reach-to-grasp kinematics and kinetics with and without visual feedback in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease

Jianhong Zhang, Yunling Xiao, Zong Ming Li, Na Wei, Leitong Lin, Ke Li

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This study aimed to investigate the effects of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD) on the reach-to-grasp kinematics and kinetics with and without visual supervision of the grasping arm and hand. Seventeen patients who had been diagnosed with early-stage AD and 17 age- and gender-matched, cognitive normal (CN) adults participated in the experiment. A mirror operating system was designed to block the visual feedback of their grasping hand and forearms but to virtually show grasped targets. The target for reach-to-grasp kinematics was a reflective marker installed on a base; and the target for reach-to-grasp kinetics was a custom-made apparatus installed with two six-component force/torque transducers. Kinematics and kinetic parameters were used to quantify the reach-to-grasp performances. Results showed that the early-stage AD remarkably decreased the reaching speed, reduced the grasping accuracy and increased the transportation variability for reach-to-grasp kinematics. For kinetic analysis, early-stage AD extended the preload duration, disturbed the grip and lift forces coordination, and increased the feedforward proportion in the grasping force control. The AD-related changes in the reach-to-grasp kinematic and kinetic parameters depended on visual feedback and were associated with nervous system function according to correlation analyses with the neuropsychological testing. These results suggest that the abnormal kinematic and kinetic characteristics may correlate with the neuropsychological status of early-stage AD, and that the reach-to-grasp kinematic and kinetic maneuver could potentially be used as a novel tool for non-invasive screening or evaluation of early-stage AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Reach-to-grasp performance
  • Sensorimotor control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics

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