Neural and musculoskeletal contributions to the development of stance balance control in typical children and in children with cerebral palsy.

  • Woollacott M
  • Burtner P
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Abstract

Studies on the development of automatic postural responses in both typically developing children and children with cerebral palsy were performed. With the appearance of "pull-to-stand" behavior, typically developing children first began to show muscle responses to platform movements in mainly the ankle muscles. With increased development, additional agonist muscles were added to the response pattern and a consistent distal to proximal sequence began to emerge. Well-organized responses were seen with the onset of independent stance and walking, along with the reduction of antagonist muscle co-activation. The older children with cerebral palsy who were pre-walkers had immature muscle activation patterns like those seen in the typically developing children at the pull-to-stand stage of development. These included disorganized muscle responses and increased frequency of coactivation of both proximal-distal and agonist-antagonist muscles. In order to determine if musculoskeletal constraints contributed to these response patterns, normal children were asked to stand in a crouched posture similar to that of children with CP. This caused postural muscle response patterns to more closely approximate those of children with spastic diplegia.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cerebral Palsy: physiopathology
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Motor Activity
  • Muscle
  • Postural Balance
  • Postural Balance: physiology
  • Preschool
  • Reference Values
  • Skeletal
  • Skeletal: physiology
  • Skeletal: physiopathology

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Authors

  • M H Woollacott

  • P Burtner

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