Motor and Mental Skills in Toddlers with CP

Developmental Neurorehabilitation  published research on the association between mental and motor functioning in children with CP.  This study looked at 78 toddlers with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy with GMFCS I-V.  The researchers determined that when motor and mental functioning did not develop at the same time,  it was always motor functioning that was more delayed than mental functioning.  No children performed better on the motor section than the mental section.

Reference:    Lotte Enkelaar ;  Marjolijn Ketelaar; Jan Willem Gorter Association between motor and mental functioning in toddlers with cerebral palsy Developmental Neurorehabilitation, Volume 11, Issue 4 2008, pages 276 – 282.


Autism and Maternal Age

The American Journal of Epidemiology reports on research indicating that the risk for autism increases with maternal (>35 years of age) and paternal age (greater than 40 years of age).  There was also a greater risk of autism for first born children to older parents.  This study looked at 1251 8 year old children with a diagnosis of autism in 1994.

Reference:  Maureen S. Durkin , Matthew J. Maenner , Craig J. Newschaffer , Li-Ching Lee , Christopher M. Cunniff , Julie L. Daniels , Russell S. Kirby , Lewis Leavitt , Lisa Miller , Walter Zahorodny , and Laura A. Schieve Advanced Parental Age and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access published on December 1, 2008, DOI 10.1093/aje/kwn250.Am. J. Epidemiol. 168: 1268-1276.


Overweight Children, Aerobic Activity and Anger

Pediatric Exercise Science reports on a recent study where a structured aerobic exercise program reduced anger expression in overweight children.

Reference: Tkacz, J., Young-Hyman, D., Boyle, C., Davis, C.  Aerobic Exercise Program Reduces Anger Expression Among Overweight Children PES, 20(4), November 2008


Modified Constraint Induced Therapy and CP

Developmental Neurorehabilitation reports on a study of 10 children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.  The children wore mitt on the unaffected hand for 2 hours per day for 8 weeks and received targeted therapy during that time.   This modified schedule was acceptable to participants.  Improvements were noted in performance of daily activities.  This feasibility study was done to determine that further randomized trials are indicated for modified constraint induced therapy.

Reference:  Margaret Wallen ;  Jenny Ziviani;  Rob Herbert;  Ruth Evans ; Iona Novak  (2008) Modified constraint-induced therapy for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: A feasibility study  Developmental Neurorehabilitation, Volume 11, Issue 2 2008 , pages 124 – 133


Seating and CP

Pediatric Physical Therapy  published a review of the literature on seating adaptations for children with cerebral palsy.  The literature revealed inconsistent results with saddle seats and the what the best seat to back angle is.  Significant improvements were seen with seat inserts, external supports and seating systems.  There was no significant evidence to support that changes in postural control improved functional abilities.

Reference:  Chung, Julie BHK, MPT; Evans, Jessie BHK, MPT; Lee, Corinna MSc, MPT; Lee, Jessie BHSc (Hons), MPT; Rabbani, Yasha BSc, MPT; Roxborough, Lori MSc, BSR; Harris, Susan R. PT, PhD, FAPTA, FCAHS Effectiveness of Adaptive Seating on Sitting Posture and Postural Control in Children with Cerebral Palsy.   Pediatric Physical Therapy. 20(4):303-317, Winter 2008.


Strength Training in Children with CP

Pediatric Physical Therapy published a review of the literature on progressive strength training in children with cerebral palsy.  The research indicated that progressive strength training improved function and gait especially with isotonic exercises with no significant side effects.  Greater improvements were seen in younger children.

Reference:  Mockford, Margaret MSc, MCSP; Caulton, Janette M. MSc, MCSP Systematic Review of Progressive Strength Training in Children and Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy Who Are Ambulatory. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 20(4):318-333, Winter 2008.


Autism and Object Use at 12 months

The current issue of Autism reports on a recent study indicating that 12 month old children who were later diagnosed with autism, displayed significantly more spinning, rotating, and unusual visual exploration of objects (i.e. looking out of the corner of the eye) than the control group without autism.

Reference:  Ozonoff, Sally, Macari, Suzanne, Young, Gregory S., Goldring, Stacy, Thompson, Meagan, Rogers, Sally J. Atypical object exploration at 12 months of age is associated with autism in a prospective sample Autism 2008 12: 457-472


Activities and Children with Longitudinal Radial Deficiency

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reports on research looking at 20 children with longitudinal radial deficiency.  The children exhibited reduced grip strength and active range of motion although children performed functional activities fairly well.  There was a large variation in poor strength and activity abilities but range of motion displayed a linear relationship with activity performance.

Reference:  Buffart, Laurien M., Roebroeck, Marij E., Janssen, Wim G.M., Hoekstra, Anneke, Selles, Ruud W., Hovius, Steven E.R., Stam, Henk J.  Hand Function and Activity Performance of Children with Longitudinal Radial Deficiency  J Bone Joint Surg Am 2008 90: 2408-2415


Mental Illness and Strabismus

Pediatrics reports on a recent research study on a connection between having strabismus as children and mental illness.  Of the 266 children with a history of esotropia and 141 with exotropia, 41.3% were diagnosed with a mental illness (monitored until 17 years of age) compared to 30.7% of the control subjects.  Children with exotropia were at greater risk.  When monitored to 20 years old, children with esotropia were not at a greater risk for mental illness than the control group.  Children with intermittent exotropia were at the greatest risk of developing mental illness.

Reference:  Mohney, Brian G., McKenzie, Jeff A., Capo, Jason A., Nusz, Kevin J., Mrazek, David, Diehl, Nancy N.Mental Illness in Young Adults Who Had Strabismus as Children Pediatrics 2008 122: 1033-1038


Botox vs Surgery at Hip Adductors

The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has published research on comparing the benefits of botox injections versus soft tissue surgery to the hip adductors.   One hundred ninety four children with cerebral palsy were studied – 69 children received no treatment, 60 children had surgery and 65 has botox injections.   The improvements in hip migration did not differ significantly between the botox and surgery group.   Improvements were greater in younger children and higher functioning children.  Children with high degrees of subluxation experienced advancing hip dislocation whether they received any of the treatments.  The researchers concluded that botox injections could be used in place of soft tissue surgery to prevent hip dislocation.

Reference:  Comparison of Botulinum Toxin Type A Injection and Soft-Tissue Surgery to Treat Hip Subluxation in Children With Cerebral Palsy Eun Joo Yang, Dong-wook Rha, Hyun Woo Kim, Eun Sook Park Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – November 2008 (Vol. 89, Issue 11, Pages 2108-2113, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2008.04.019)