Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences

First Advisor

Howell Runion

First Committee Member

Denis Meerdink

Second Committee Member

John Livesey

Third Committee Member

John Boelter


Background and purpose . This pilot study examined SSRI's in association with partial body weight treadmill training (PBWTT) to improve locomotion post stroke. Serotonin is thought to play a role in recovery of motor function such as locomotion on a treadmill eliciting the central pattern generators (CPG's) identified from animal models. There would be benefits in knowing if serotonin combined with PBWTT influenced motor recovery. The purpose of the study was to determine if patients undergoing treatment with an SSRI would improve in locomotor function to a greater degree than patients not receiving an SSRI. Subjects and methods . Non clinically depressed post stroke patients (N = 4) and clinically depressed post stroke patients on SSRI's (N = 4) were assigned to two groups of convenience. Initial baseline performance was established at two evaluation points using functional gait tests, balance tests, and electomyographical analysis during performance of locomotion over an eight week period (Pre 1 & Pre 2). Intervention of PBWTT was introduced for eight weeks and subjects were evaluated again (Post 1). Subjects returned four weeks later for a follow up evaluation (Post 2). The intervention included training three days a week for eight weeks utilizing PBWTT. Data was analyzed using non parametric statistics. Results . All subjects improved in gait velocity, distance covered and assistance needs as it relates to the PBWTT. Functional gait, balance and gait characteristic improved in both groups with significant differences noted in the “timed up and go test” and Tinetti Assessment in the group undergoing treatment with SSRI's. Weight bearing squat scores improved in both groups with a greater significance at 0 and 30 degrees of knee flexion in the subjects under the influence of SSRI's. The limits of stability scores (LOS) and sensory organization test (SOT) improved in both groups without significant differences. Electromyographical data supported visual observations for improvement of gait deviations and improved on-off timing during the gait cycle in both groups. Conclusion . This study would indicate comparing SSRI therapy and specific functional movement learning for further study.



To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in PacificSearch Find in ProQuest



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email


Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).