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Goal-directed arm movements in children with fetal alcohol syndrome: a kinematic approach
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Kolbäcken Child Rehabilitation Centre, Umeå, Sweden)
Laboratoire psychologie de la Perception,Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception (CNRS UMR 8158), Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Neurology, ISSN 1351-5101, E-ISSN 1468-1331, Vol. 18, no 2, 312-320 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Although many studies have documented deficits in general motor functioning in children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), few have employed detailed measurements to explore the specific nature of such disabilities. This pilot study explores whether three-dimensional (3D) kinematic analysis may generate increased knowledge of the effect of intrauterine alcohol exposure on motor control processes by detecting atypical upper-limb movement pattern specificity in children with FAS relative to typically developing (TD) children. 

Methods: Left and right arm and head movements during a sequential unimanual goal-directed precision task in a sample of children with FAS and in TD children were registered by an optoelectronic tracking system (ProReflex, Qualisys Inc.). 

Results: Children with FAS demonstrated evidently poorer task performance compared with TD children. Additionally, analyses of arm movement kinematics revealed atypical spatio-temporal organization in the children with FAS. In general, they exhibited longer arm movement trajectories at both the proximal and distal level, faster velocities at the proximal level but slower at the distal level, and more segmented distal movements. Children with FAS also showed atypically augmented and fast head movements during the task performance. 

Conclusions: Findings indicate neuromotor deficits and developmental delay in goaldirected arm movements because of prenatal alcohol exposure. It is suggested that 3D kinematic analysis is a valid technique for furthering the understanding of motor control processes in children with FAS/fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. A combination with relevant neuroimaging techniques in future studies would enable a more clear-cut interpretation of how atypical movement patterns relate to underlying brain abnormalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 18, no 2, 312-320 p.
Keyword [en]
arm movement, children, fetal alcohol syndrome, kinematics
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-39335DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2010.03142.xOAI: diva2:390833
Available from: 2011-01-24 Created: 2011-01-24 Last updated: 2011-01-24Bibliographically approved

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