ZonMw rehabilitation program I 'Restoration of mobility'
ZonMw rehabilitation program II 'ALLRISC'
1. Umbrella project Restoration of mobility
2. Wheelchair skills
3. Cardiovascular adaptation
4. Mechanical strain of the upper extremities
5. Spasticity reduction using FES
6. Coordination of the upper extremities in tetraplegia
7. Everyday physical activity
8. Hand-arm policy in tetraplegia
9. Handbiking
10. Transmural nursing care
11. Immigrants in SCI rehabilitation
12. Determinants of physical capacity
13. Patient involvement in SCI rehabilitation
14. Respiratory adaptations
15. Classification of paramedical intervention
16. Patient monitoring
17. Upper extremity task performance in high SCI
18. Quality of life during and after SCI rehabilitation
19. Pulmonary complications and   physical inactivity
21. Universal wheelchair mobility skills test
22. WHEEL-i
23. Life satisfaction & wheelchair exercise capacity
24. Shoulder pain & range of motion 
Related projects
NVDG research group

Adaptations in motor control of the

upper extremities in subjects with tetraplegia



Yvonne Janssen-Potten, PhD (Researcher)

Henk Seelen, PhD (Project leader)

Cees Pons, MD (Project leader)


A controllable arm and hand function is essential for the performance of activities of daily living (ADL). Patients suffering from a thoracic or (low) cervical SCI highly depend on the use of a wheelchair for their mobility needs. When the arm-hand function (AHF) is impaired due to a cervical SCI wheelchair mobility and ADL is jeopardised. Clinical rehabilitation of these patients is focused on residual sensori-motor functions. In some cases surgical muscle/tendon transpositions are carried out to improve functional outcome. In effect new patterns of motor control have to be acquired by these patients. The project aims at understanding the development of new patterns of motor control in persons with tetraplegia during and after their active clinical rehabilitation. Adaptations in motor control are studied during standardized ADL tasks with electromyography. Insight in changes in muscle use during task performance in tetraparetic persons may be used as ‘input’ to better judge as well as to simulate and predict—through modelling (project III) -, the mechanical loading and movement efficiency of the upper extremities in these persons. This is relevant not only for persons who have completed their active rehabilitation program, but also (and especially) for patients who still receive therapy. Insight in changed muscle use and mechanical loading and stress is also relevant to tetraparetic persons who are eligible for surgical muscle transposition. Through modelling the mechanical constraints may be assessed before surgery and a possible result of surgery regarding changes in muscle function, co-ordination and improved ADL may be predicted through simulation. Given the coherence between this and project III data of both projects will be exchanged.


Research Questions


List of publications












Contact address

Sonja de Groot / Lucas van der Woude

Center for Human Movement Sciences

University Medical Center Groningen

University of Groningen

Antonius Deusinglaan 1

9713AV Groningen,

The Netherlands