Thursday, September 2, 2010

Developmental Coordination Disorder and Brain Activation

A small study was recently published in Pediatrics on developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and brain activation. Seven children, ages 8-12 years, with DCD and seven control subjects without DCD, performed a fine motor trail tracing task while undergoing functional MRI. The behavioral motor results of the fine motor trail tracing task were similar between the two groups. The MRI results indicated that the children with DCD used significantly more brain activation in the left inferior parietal lobule, right middle frontal gyrus, right supramarginal gyrus, right lingual gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus, right posterior cingulate gyrus, right precentral gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, and right cerebellar lobule VI, than the typically developing children. The researchers concluded that the children with DCD relied more on visuospatial processing to complete the fine motor activity.

Reference: Zwicker, Jill G., Missiuna, Cheryl, Harris, Susan R., Boyd, Lara A.
Brain Activation of Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder is Different Than Peers Pediatrics 2010 126: e678-e686


Anonymous said...

This study is very interesting in a couple of ways. Based on the small sample size, no major deductions about the children are concluded. Hopefully small studies like this will refine the methods (MRI) to analyze brain function during motor tasks - such that more and larger studies will be done. When many (thousands) of children with DCD have been studied, and their brains shows a similar pattern of dispersed (my word) activity, I see support for the conclusion of a poor early pruning in the children tested. That information will need to be tied to some other genetic or physiological evidence to determine a 'source' for how their brains result in DCD. A long path ahead.


Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Good points Barbara and thank you. I agree a long path ahead but it is a start. Adds to previous research that children with DCD have different neurological wiring.

MediTouch said...

We can not make any conclusions from this paper however if children with DCD rely more on visuospatial processing to complete the task then treatment options include further activating this comensatory mechanism or physical rehabilitation of motor sensory and cognitive impairments that will enable successful completion of the task.
The HandTutor glove and dedicated rehabilitation software uses biofeedback and encourages customized intensive and motivating hand exercises taht rehabilitate sensory, motor and cognitive movement impairments. The HandTutor can be used with children with DCD as well as fter: Stroke, brain/ spinal cord injury, Cerebral Palsy, Orthopedic hand/ arm surgery even if the patient does not have sufficient movement ability to enable them to do repetitive active tasks. The HandTutor is now used in major rehabilitation clinics

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