April 21, 2008

Bertec Corp, a manufacturer of human force measurement devices, has awarded 14 young researchers a year-long loan of balance assessment and training systems in order to help advance the understanding of human body mechanics.
The goal of the Bertec Balance Research Competition is to make cutting edge technology available to students and young professors so they might achieve breakthroughs in medicine, physical rehabilitation, occupational safety and physical education. The winners were selected based on the strength of their proposals as judged by an external review board.
The awarded systems include the Bertec balance plate (Model BP 5050) with Acquire data acquisition software and all four models of the BalanceCheck™ product line. The BalanceCheck models use strain gauge technology to measure the center of pressure of the individual standing on the plate. This is designed to allow for determination of how much an individual is swaying under various conditions, thus helping to reduce instability and fall risks. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among persons over age 65.
The awardees of the first Bertec Research Competition are:
Masters students Jennifer Alderidge and Geoffrey Melcher of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Department of Kinesiology, for their proposal: A retro locomotion protocol to reduce postural sway: Implications for fall prevention.
Assistant Professors Dr. Jeffrey Alexander, Dr. Tamara Valovich McLeod, Dr. Henry Trahan and Doctoral student Pedro Marín Cabezuelo of A.T. Still University – Mesa Campus in the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and the Department of Audiology for their proposal: The impact of whole-body vibration on static and dynamic balance in older adults with and without vestibular dysfunction.
Doctoral student of Physical Therapy Therese Clark of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in the Department of Health Professions, for her proposal: Effects of body weight support on postural sway and functional test performance on elderly in an extended care facility.
Doctoral student Marius Dettmer of the University of Houston in the Department of Health and Human Performance, for his proposal: Influence of different proprioceptive conditions on anticipatory postural adjustments in healthy subjects.
Assistant Professor Dr. Deanna Dye of Idaho State University in the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, for her proposal: The utility of assessing standing balance as part of an overall health screening program for rural elderly.
Doctoral students Adam Knight and Andrea Sumner of Auburn University in the Department of Kinesiology, for their proposal: Influence of balance training on balance at height.
Assistant Professor Wei Liu of Walsh University in the Department of Physical Therapy, for his proposal: Tai Chi Gait effect on normal walking and balance stability in elderly people.
Doctoral student Leigh Schanfein of Purdue University in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, for her proposal: The use of self-motion feedback for balance control in younger and older dancers.
Assistant Professor Dr. Jake Streepy of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in the Department of Physical Education, for his proposal: The effect of early prism adaptation intervention on the rehabilitation outcomes of stroke patients with left hemispatial neglect.
Source: Bertec Corporation