RESEARCH PAPER
Motor skills, cognitive development and balance functions of children with Down syndrome
 
More details
Hide details
1
Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Poznan University of Medical Science, Poland
2
Department of Cell Biology, Poznan University of Medical Science, Poland
3
Department of Clinical Psychology, Poznan University of Medical Science, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med 2013;20(4):803–806
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction and objectives:
Motor and cognitive development of children with Down syndrome (DS) is delayed and inharmonic. Neuro–muscular abnormalities, such as hypotonia, retained primary reflexes, and slow performance of volitional reaction, result in difficulties with body balance. The aim of the presented study is to assess the global motor functions and body balance of children with DS in relation to age and mental development.

Material and Methods:
The study group consisted of 79 children with DS (42 boys, 37 girls), average age 6 years and 3 months ± 4 years and 6 months. Participants were divided according to age range into 3 groups: <3 years old, 3 – 6 years old, >6 years old. Children were assessed using Gross Motor Function Measure-88 (GMFM-88) and Paediatric Balance Scale (PBS). Psychological diagnosis served to determine the degree of mental development using the Brunet–Lezine Scale for children younger than 3 years old, and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) for those who are older than 3 years. Nine children in research group had not been diagnosed by psychologists, which is the reason why the analysis referring to mental development was performed in 70 children (34 girls, 36 boys), with an average age of 4 years and 6 months.

Results:
GMFM–88 scores were significantly lower in children with moderate psychomotor delay than in children with mild psychomotor delay, or normally developed children, p=0.043. GMFM-88 scores in children with profound mental impairment were lower than in children with mild or moderate mental impairment. There was a statistical significant correlation between GMFM-88 scores and the PBS scores, r= 0.7, p<0.0001.

Conclusions:
Motor development of children with Down syndrome from towns and villages in the Greater Poland region is associated with cognitive development, especially in the first three years of life, with the balance functions being closely related to motor skills.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Roksana Malak   
Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Poznan University of Medical Science, Poland
 
REFERENCES (23):
1. Ottenbacher KJ, Short MA. Vestibular processing dysfunction in children. The Haworth Press, New York 1985. Skallerup S. J. Babies with Down Syndrome. A New Parent’s Guide. Woodbine House, Bethesda 2008.
2. Pangalos C, Avramopoulos D, Blouin J, Raoul O, deBlois MC, Prieur M, Schinzel AA, Gika M, Abazis D, Antonarakis SE. Understanding the mechanism(s) of mosaic trisomy 21 by using DNA polymorphism analysis. Am J Hum Genet. 1994; 54: 473–481.
3. Devlin L, Morrison PJ. Accuracy of the clinical diagnosis of Down syndrome. Ulster Med J. 2004; 73: 4–12.
4. Vicari S. Motor development and neuropsychological pattern in person with Down syndrome. Behav Genet. 2006; 36: 355–364.
5. Ulrich DA. Effects of Intensity of Treadmill Training on Developmental Outcomes and Stepping in Infants With Down Syndrome: A Randomized Trial. Phys Ther. 2008; 88: 114–122.
6. Palisano RJ, Walter SD, Russell DJ, Rosenbaum PL, Gémus M, Galuppi BE, Cunnigham L. Gross Motor Function of Children With Down Syndrome: Creation of Motor Growth Curves Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001; 82: 494–500.
7. Pueschel S. Ku lepszej przyszłości. Zespół Downa. Przewodnik dla rodziców i opiekunów. Wydawnictwo Replika, Zakrzewo 2009.
8. Weijerman ME, Winter JP. Clinical Practice. The care of children with Down syndrome. Eur J Pediatr. 2010; 169: 1445–1452.
9. Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott M. Dynamics of postural control in the child with Down syndrome. Phys Ther. 1985; 65: 1315–1323.
10. Luz Carvalho R, Vasconcelos DA. Motor behavior in Down syndrome: atypical sensoriomotor control. [In:] Dey S. Prenatal diagnosis and screening for Down syndrome. INTECH Rijeka, Croatia 2001.
11. Russell DJ, Rosenbaum P, Avery L. Gross Motor Function Measure. User’s Manual. Mac Keith Press. Ontario 2002.
12. Wang HY, Yang YH. Evaluating the Responsivness of Two Versions of Gross Motor Function Measure for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006; 87: 51–56.
13. Franjoine MR, Darr N, Held SL, Kott K, Young BL. The performance of children developing typically on the Pediatric Balance Scale. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2010; 22: 350–359.
14. McCarton C.M, Brooks-Gunn J, Wallace I.F. Results at age 8 years of early intervention for low-birth-weight premature infants. JAMA 1997; 277: 126–132.
15. Connolly B, Morgan S, Russell F. A Longitudinal Study of Children with Down Syndrome Who Experienced Early Intervention Programming. Phys Ther. 1993; 73: 170–181.
16. Bruni M. Fine Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome. Woodbine House, Bethesda 2006.
17. Diedrichsen J, Shadmehr R, Ivry RB. The coordination of movement: optimal feedback control and beyond. Trends in Cognitive Sci.2010; 14: 31–39.
18. Weeks DJ, Chua R, Elliott D. Perceptual – motor behavior in Down syndrome. Human Kinetics. Champaign 2000.
19. Winders PC. Gross motor skills in children with Down syndrome. Woodbine House, Bethesda 1997.
20. Wieczorek M. Sprawność fizyczna młodzieży niepełnosprawnej intelektualnie jako czynnik warunkujący ich zdrowie. Probl Hig Epidemiol. 2008; 89: 235–240.
21. Kwon JY, Jung Chang H, Young Lee J. Effects of hippotherapy on gait paramaters in children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001; 92: 774–779.
22. De Kegel A, Dhooge I, Peersman W, Rijckaert J, Baetens T, Cambier D, Van Waelvelde H. Construct validity of the assessment of balance in children who are developing typically and children with hearing impairments. Phys Ther. 2010; 90: 1783–1795.
23. Dreeben O. Patient Education in Rehabilitation. Jones and Barlett Publishers LLC, London 2010.
eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966