The role of visual stimuli on standing posture in children with bilateral cerebral palsy
2016 (English)In: BMC Neurology, ISSN 1471-2377, E-ISSN 1471-2377, Vol. 16, 151Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: In children with bilateral cerebral palsy (CP) maintaining a standing position can be difficult. The fundamental motor task of standing independently is achieved by an interaction between the visual, somatosensory, and vestibular systems. In CP, the motor disorders are commonly accompanied by sensory and perceptual disturbances. Our aims were to examine the influence of visual stimuli on standing posture in relation to standing ability. Methods: Three dimensional motion analysis with surface electromyography was recorded to describe body position, body movement, and muscle activity during three standing tasks: in a self-selected position, while blindfolded, and during an attention-demanding task. Participants were twenty-seven typically-developing (TD) children and 36 children with bilateral CP, of which 17 required support for standing (CP-SwS) and 19 stood without support (CP-SwoS). Results: All children with CP stood with a more flexed body position than the TD children, even more pronounced in the children in CP-SwS. While blindfolded, the CP-SwS group further flexed their hips and knees, and increased muscle activity in knee extensors. In contrast, the children in CP-SwoS maintained the same body position but increased calf muscle activity. During the attention-demanding task, the children in CP-SwoS stood with more still head and knee positions and with less muscle activity. Conclusions: Visual input was important for children with CP to maintain a standing position. Without visual input the children who required support dropped into a further crouched position. The somatosensory and vestibular systems alone could not provide enough information about the body position in space without visual cues as a reference frame. In the children who stood without support, an intensified visual stimulus enhanced the ability to maintain a quiet standing position. It may be that impairments in the sensory systems are major contributors to the difficulties to stand erect in children with CP.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2016. Vol. 16, 151
Cerebral palsy, Muscle activity, Postural orientation, Sensory disturbances, Standing ability, Visual function
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192726DOI: 10.1186/s12883-016-0676-2ISI: 000381826800002PubMedID: 27557808OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-192726DiVA: diva2:974442
QC 201609262016-09-262016-09-202016-09-26Bibliographically approved