Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Dr. Rose directs the Motion & Gait Analysis Lab at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, a multidisciplinary diagnostic service for patients with gait and upper limb movement disorders. Dr. Rose's research investigates early brain and motor development in preterm children and the neuromuscular mechanisms underlying motor deficits in children with cerebral palsy (CP).
Prior research investigated energy cost of walking, muscle pathology, neuromscular activation and postural balance in CP. Recent research investigates neonatal micro-structural brain development on diffusion tensor MRI in relation to motor function in preterm children. Initial research examined energetics of walking in CP and muscle pathophysiology in spastic CP (Rose et al, J Orthop Res, 1994). The histologic and morphometric study of spastic muscle in CP revealed abnormal predominance of type-1 fibers and fiber size variability, suggesting reduced motor-unit firing rates associated with impaired descending motor signals. Neuromuscular activation and motor-unit firing characteristics were investigated with EMG decomposition techniques in lower limb muscles in CP (Rose and McGill, Dev Med Child Neurol, 2005). We found maximal voluntary neuromuscular activation (maximal voluntary EMG/ M-wave amplitude) was substantially reduced, while motor-unit recruitment was found normal at low-moderate levels of contraction. Extrapolation to maximal levels of neuromuscular activation suggested maximal motor-unit firing rates were reduced to approximately 50% of control values. Four interrelated motor deficits of spastic CP: weakness, short muscle-tendon unit, spasticity, and impaired selective motor control were identified through these studies. EMG studies of selective motor control revealed obligatory muscle co-activation of gastrocnemius during quadriceps activation contributes to gait deficits in spastic CP (Rose et al, J Ped Orthop, 1999, Policy et al, J Ped Orthop, 2001). Postural balance research using force plate center-of pressure indicated 30% of children with spastic CP had balance impairment (Wolff et al, J Orthop Res, 1998, Rose et al, Dev Med Child Neurol, 2002).
Recent research examined neonatal micro-structural brain development on diffusion tensor MRI and motor function in very-low-birth-weight preterm children (Rose et al, Ped Res, 2005, Rose et al. Dev Med Child Neurol 2007; 2009). Related research investigated cerebellar structure and postural balance in adults. Early regional brain development and perinatal risk factors at near-term age were studied in relation to later motor deficits. This research identified neonatal prognostic indicators of later motor function to guide early, more effective intervention.
Dr. Rose served on the Neurophysiology section of the NIH Taskforce on Childhood Motor Disorders, chaired the Research Committee of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM), served on the Board of Directors of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT), led the Research Network on Artificial Walking Technologies for multichannel NMES-assisted Gait for Children with CP and is on the International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability (IAACD). She is co-editor of the book, Human Walking 3rd Edition, (Rose J and Gamble JG, Editors, Lippincott, WilIiams and Wilkins, 2006), a multidisciplinary perspective on human walking and gait analysis. She taught Anatomy of Movement (Ortho 222), a multidisciplinary course on musculoskeletal anatomy from perspectives of bioengineering, anthropology, and art history. She collaborated with professor Kazerooni of UC Berkely and US Bionics on development of a pediatric exoskeleton, which won the Robotics for Good international competition 2016.