Are postural adjustments during reaching related to walking development in typically developing infants and infants at risk of cerebral palsy?

Lieke C van Balen, Anke G Boxum, Linze-Jaap Dijkstra, Elisa G Hamer, Tjitske Hielkema, Heleen A Reinders-Messelink, Mijna Hadders-Algra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: In typical development, postural adjustments during reaching change in the second half of infancy, including increasing rates of direction-specific adjustments. These changes are absent or different in infants at risk of cerebral palsy (CP). To discover whether these changes are related to acquisition of independent walking, we studied postural adjustments during reaching in infants before and after they learned to walk.

Methods: Ten typically developing (TD) infants and 11 infants at very high risk (VHR) of CP were assessed before and after they learned to walk. Reaching movements were elicited during supported sitting, while surface electromyography was recorded of arm, neck, and trunk muscles. Percentages of direction-specific adjustments (first level of control), and recruitment patterns and anticipatory activation (second level of control) were calculated.

Results: In both groups, postural adjustments during reaching were similar before and after acquisition of independent walking. Direction-specificity increased with age in typically developing infants but not in VHR-infants.

Conclusion: Increasing age rather than the transition to independent walking is associated with increasing direction-specificity of TD-infants during reaching while sitting, while infants at very high risk of CP show no increase in direction-specificity, suggesting that they gradually grow into a postural deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalInfant Behavior & Development
Volume50
Early online date18-Dec-2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2018

Keywords

  • Walking
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Infants
  • Postural control
  • Development
  • LATERAL BALANCE CONTROL
  • INDEPENDENT WALKING
  • MOTOR PROFILE
  • TRUNK COORDINATION
  • YOUNG-CHILDREN
  • 1ST YEAR
  • TODDLERS
  • BEHAVIOR
  • HEAD

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