Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences

First Committee Member

Janet S. Dufek

Second Committee Member

John Mercer

Third Committee Member

Richard Tandy

Fourth Committee Member

Szu-Ping Lee

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to compare muscle latencies for patients diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy versus healthy controls during a perturbed balance task, with a secondary purpose to distinguish postural control strategies the groups used based on the muscle latencies. Five participants diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy (DN; 4 male, 99.7 ± 7.95 kg, 176 ± 9.58 cm, 46.6 ± 16.55 years) and 5 healthy control (HC; 4 male, 100.36 ± 12.61 kg, 173.76 ± 9.66 cm, 47 ± 13.42 years) participants were recruited. Participants granted institutionally approved written consent before participating. Delsys Trigino Wireless EMG sensors were placed on the following muscles on each subject’s right side of their body: tibialis anterior, gastrocenemius medialis, rectus femoris, biceps femoris, rectus abdominis, and lumbar paraspinals at the iliac crest. Subjects performed three trials of a perturbed balance task (SOT VI). EMG data were analyzed in MatLab using custom written script. Latency was determined as the time from the perturbation to the time when the smoothed EMG data exceeded two standard deviations above the baseline for at least 50 ms. Dependent variables (latency for each muscle) were evaluated between groups using a paired t-test (SPSS Statistics 20; IBM; Armonk, NY). Single subject (SS) analysis between matched participants was performed using Microsoft Excel. No statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between the groups for any muscle latency. Single subject analysis identified differences (p < 0.05) between some matched pairs with no distinguishable trend or pattern observed. Similar balance strategies based on muscle latency were observed between groups. The results of this study may be explained with current theory that has challenged the pathophysiology of DN especially regarding whether DN affects the motor system, and if DN may be attenuated by exercise. The results of this study continue to shed light on the complexity of DN.


Balance; Diabetic neuropathies; EMG; Equilibrium (Physiology); Latency; Muscle contraction; Muscles


Biomechanics | Kinesiology | Medicine and Health Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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