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Medicina dello Sport 2017 March;70(1):93-103

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.16.02762-9


language: English, Italian

Comparison of knee proprioception between congenitally and late blind people

Hossein F. RASHID 1, Zinat ZARANDI 2, Ali A. NORASHTEH 1

1 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran; 2 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND: Vision as a part of sensory system plays an important role in posture control and it is to be expected that the efficiency of motor control will be affected by the lack of visual input. Blind individuals have to adjust the habitual motor control strategies and develop new strategies. To better underestand the changes in the sensory system of blind people, this study aimed to compare knee proprioception between congenitally and late blind people.
METHODS: Ten congenitally blind (CB) people, ten late blind (LB) people and ten sighted humans (SH) participated. We measured knee joint proprioceptive acuity through active repositioning in 45˚ of knee flexion using an isokinetic dynamometer. Knee joint position sense scores are reported as: the relative error (RE) as the true difference between the target and matching angles, the absolute error (AE) estimates that a subject underestimates or overestimates the target angle, and the error variations (EV) as standard deviation of the RE.
RESULTS: The knee joint position sense scores (RE, AE, EV) for CB group were the lowest ones compared to other groups. The CB had the least AE scores in active repositioning than other groups but it was just significant between CB and LB (P=0.019) and CB group showed significantly more accurate proprioception than LB group in AE scores. There was no significant difference between the CB and SH groups. These results may reflect brain organization according to better non-visual perceptual abilities in the CB subjects and the relationship between proprioceptive acuity in adulthood and non-visual spatial experience during early development.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings have practical implications for those seeking to design effective interventions for promoting performance and ameliorating depressive symptoms throughout blind people. There are adaptations after sensory alternation in congenitally blind people. In this study according to the results, it seems that late blind people need available and ongoing training to increase proprioception and balance.

KEY WORDS: Blindness - Proprioception - Knee

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