Background: Development of postural problems in Cerebral Palsy (CP) is largely unknown. Postural muscle activity is organized into two levels: 1) direction-specificity; 2) fine-tuning of direction-specific activity.
Aim: To study development of postural control until 21 months corrected age in subgroups of infants at very high-risk (VHR) of CP: a) with and without CP at 21 months; b) with and without cystic periventricular leukomalacia (cPVL), the brain lesion with highest risk of CP.
Methods and procedures: Longitudinal electromyography recordings of postural muscles during reaching were made in 38 VHR-infants (severe brain lesion or clear neurological signs) between 4.7 and 22.6 months (18 CP, of which 8 with cPVL). Developmental trajectories were calculated using linear mixed effect models.
Outcomes and results: VHR-infants with and without CP showed virtually similar postural development throughout infancy. The subgroup of VHR-infants with cPVL improved performance in direction-specificity with increasing age, while they performed throughout infancy worse in fine-tuning of postural adjustments than infants without cPVL.
Conclusions and implications: VHR-infants with and without CP have a similar postural development that differs from published trajectories of typically developing infants. Infants with cPVL present from early age onwards dysfunctions in fine-tuning of postural adjustments; they focus on direction-specificity.
- Postural control
- Cerebral palsy
- Cystic periventricular leukomalacia
- MINOR NEUROLOGICAL DYSFUNCTION
- EXTERNAL PERTURBATIONS
- PRETERM CHILDREN
- SPASTIC DIPLEGIA