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  • 1.
    Bäckström, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Action planning in relation to movement performance in 6-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Recent research proposes problems with action planning as part of atypical motor functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although findings are inconsistent. This study investigated relations between action planning and movement performance in 6-year-old children with and without ASD.

    Patients and methods: 3D kinematic recordings of preferred arm/hand performance on a sequential peg rotation task with varying complexity of goal insertion (four endpoints and either visual or occluded goal display at onset) were conducted in 6 children with ASD (MAge = 6.4) and 6 typically developing (TD) controls (MAge = 6.5).

    Results: Analyses revealed significant (p < .05) group and task-endpoint differences for movement segmentation (number of movement units, MUs) and 3D movement distance. Children with ASD generally displayed more MUs and longer distances than controls and all children showed increased MUs and movement distance on more complex task-endpoints. TD controls showed significantly shorter movement initiation latency (MIL) durations than ASD in the visual condition and evidently longer MILs in the occluded than visual condition. In contrast, no difference between goal display conditions was shown for the ASD group.

    Conclusion: Children with ASD generally had longer movement distances and more segmented movements than controls, suggesting less efficient movement performance. Movement performance was not evidently affected by goal display condition in either group. However, the lack of MIL differences between goal display conditions within the ASD group indicates reduced pre-planning, possibly affecting movement execution efficiency.

  • 2.
    Dahlström, Carolin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nygård, Malin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Uni- and bimanual goal-directed arm movement organization in children at 6-9 years: Effects of a preterm birth2014In: Congress Programme. 1st Clinical Movement Analysis Word Conference, 2014, p. 110-110Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION and AIM

    Psychomotor deficits are more commonly reported among children born preterm (PT) than those born full-term (FT). Further, evidence exists for more covert motor problems in children born preterm at school age [1]. Such findings may be associated with a more immature spatiotemporal model of movements and lower cognitive functioning in children born PT than FT [2]. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effects of gestational age (GA) on uni- and bimanual goal-directed arm movement organization and on cognitive functioning in children at school age.

    PATIENTS/MATERIALS and METHODS

    Participants consisted of 88 children between 6-9 years of age (M = 7.7 years; 40 PT, 19 girls; 48 FT, 22 girls) without known developmental delays or deviations. Children born PT were divided into two subgroups: moderately PT (M-PT), 34-36 weeks’ gestation (GW), and very PT (V-PT), < 34 GW. Movement kinematics were examined during performance of a goal-directed task, where the participants pushed three buttons in a sequential order in two different directions (vertical or horizontal) with either the right or left hand (unimanual) and with both hands simultaneously (bimanual). Movements were recorded by a 6-camera movement registration system (240Hz, ProReflex) and the number of movement units (MUs) was derived from head, shoulders, elbow, and wrist movement velocity profiles. Cognitive function in terms of verbal IQ (VIQ) and full scale IQ (FSIQ) was measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV).

    RESULTS

    Overall, a significant difference between the groups regarding number of MUs and FSIQ was found. In general, children born V-PT showed more MUs compared with the FT and M-PT group. Regardless of group, a significant higher amount of MUs was found in the bimanual condition than in the unimanual, and during horizontal movement performance in comparison with vertical. Furthermore, GA was significant negatively correlated with number of MUs for right and left wrist and right elbow, and also with FSIQ.

    DISCUSSION and CONCLUSIONS

    These findings suggest that lower GAs are associated with both more segmented goal-directed arm movements as well as with lower general cognitive ability. During the more demanding tasks, i.e. bimanual and horizontal movements, this association became particularly evident, where the children born V-PT exhibited the greatest difficulties. Thus, this indicate immature spatio-temporal movement organization as a long-lasting effect of risk factors associated with a preterm birth, specifically for children born V-PT, that may be related to lower cognitive function. Further, limitations in kinematic degrees of freedom, leading to restricted amounts of solutions when solving a motor task, may also partly explain these findings.

    REFERENCES

    [1] Bracewell, M. & Marlow, N. (2002). Patterns of motor disability in very preterm children. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 8(4), 241-248.

    [2] Domellöf, E., Johansson, A-M., Farooqi, A., Domellöf M. & Rönnqvist, L. (2013). Relations among upper-limb movement organization and cognitive function at school age in children born preterm. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 34(5), 344-352.

  • 3.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bäckström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Institutionen för psykologi, Uppsala universitet.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Institutionen för psykologi, Uppsala universitet.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sequential upper-limb action planning in children with autism spectrum disorder: a kinematic pilot study2018In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 60 (Suppl. 2), p. 34-34, article id 10.1111/dmcn.13790Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Recent research on sensory-motor skill in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggest that problems with planning sequential actions may explain difficulties with motor execution in this population. The present pilot study investigated upper-limb movement kinematics during a goal-directed manual task requiring sequential action planning in children with and without ASD at 6-7 years.

    Patients and method: 3D kinematic recordings of performance with the preferred arm/hand during a sequential peg moving task with varying complexity of goal insertion (five endpoint conditions, open/revealed goal presentation) were carried out in 3 children with ASD (2 girls, mean age 6.3 years) and 3 typically developing children (3 girls, mean age 7 years). End state comfort and trial errors were also assessed.

    Results: Preliminary analyses of whole movement spatiotemporal segmentation (movement units, MUs) at trial level revealed significant main effects for group and endpoint condition. Overall, children with ASD consistently performed less proficiently (more MUs) than controls for all conditions across hand/arm and head. Independent of group, all children displayed increased MUs for the more complex endpoints. Children with ASD also showed evidently poorer planning behavior (less end state comfort and increased trial errors) than controls.

    Conclusion: Findings suggest difficulties with sequential movement planning in children with ASD in terms of suboptimal movement organization together with reduced end state comfort and inaccurate goal interpretations. In contrast to controls, children with ASD did not seem to have planned the onward action prior to action execution, contributing to the observed less proficient movement kinematics.

  • 4.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bäckström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University.
    Kinematic characteristics of second‐order motor planning and performance in 6‐ and 10‐year‐old children and adults: Effects of age and task constraints2019In: Developmental Psychobiology, ISSN 0012-1630, E-ISSN 1098-2302Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study explored age‐related differences in motor planning as expressed in arm‐hand kinematics during a sequential peg moving task with varying demands on goal insertion complexity (second‐order planning). The peg was a vertical cylinder with either a circular or semicircular base. The task was to transport the peg between two positions and rotate it various amounts horizontally before fitting into its final position. The amount of rotation required was either 0°, 90°, 180°, or −90°. The reaching for the peg, the displacement of it, and the way the rotation was accomplished was analyzed. Assessments of end state comfort, goal interpretation errors, and type of grip used were also included. Participants were two groups of typically developing children, one younger (Mage = 6.7 years) and one older (Mage = 10.3 years), and one adult group (Mage = 34.9 years). The children, particularly 6‐year‐olds, displayed less efficient prehensile movement organization than adults. Related to less efficient motor planning, 6‐year‐olds, mainly, had shorter reach‐to‐grasp onset latencies, higher velocities, and shorter time to peak velocities, and longer grasp durations than adults. Importantly, the adults rotated the peg during transport. In contrast, the children made corrective rotations after the hand had arrived at the goal.

  • 5.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Farooqi, Aijaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Domellöf, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Improved fine motor performance in children born preterm: a longitudinal study of upper-limb kinematics from 4 to 8 years2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction:

    Although children born preterm (PT) are at known risk for impaired neuromotor development, longitudinal studies using detailed measurements of motor performance are rare. This study investigated developmental changes in goal-directed upper-limb kinematics from 4-8 years old in a sample of children born fullterm (FT) and PT without known developmental disabilities.

    Participants and Methods:

    3D kinematic recordings of performance with either arm/hand during a goal-directed unimanual precision task were carried out at 4 and 8 years in 37 children (13 very PT, V-PT, < 32 GW; 5 moderately PT, M-PT, 33-35 GW; 19 FT).

    Results:

    Repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant main effects for group and occasion, and interaction effects between group and occasion, for distal movement duration (p < .0001) and segmentation in terms of movement units (MUs, p < .0001). From initially having displayed less proficient movement organization at 4 years than both children born FT and M-PT, the children born V-PT showed a marked catch-up at 8 years, where no significant group differences remained. The mean between-occasion difference was substantial for both duration and segmentation in V-PT relative the other groups, although with noticeably higher within-group variability (MSD = 1.2 s/7.8 MUs) than M-PT (MSD = 0.5 s/2.5 MUs) and FT (MSD = 0.5 s/4.2 MUs).

    Conclusion:

    The children born PT, V-PT in particular, generally displayed a considerable gain in fine motor performance from preschool to school age. Compared with the FT and M-PT groups, however, the rate of improvement appears more heterogeneous in the V-PT group

  • 6.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Research and Development Unit, Kolbäcken Child Rehabilitation Centre, Umeå, Sweden.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Farooqi, Aijaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Domellöf, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Relations Among Upper-Limb Movement Organization and Cognitive Function at School Age in Children Born Preterm2013In: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, ISSN 0196-206X, E-ISSN 1536-7312, Vol. 34, no 5, p. 344-352Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To explore relations between aspects of upper-body spatiotemporal movement organization and intelligence in children born preterm at school age.

    Methods: Three-dimensional (3D) kinematic recordings of arm and head movements during a unimanual precision task were related to performance on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition, in a sample of 32 children born preterm (gestational age, mean: 31.5 weeks [range: 22-35 weeks]; birth weight, mean: 1699 g [range: 404-2962 g]) at 6 years to 8 years with no diagnosed cognitive, sensory, or motor impairments compared with 40 age-matched control children born fullterm.

    Results: In the children born preterm, upper-limb movement duration and segmentation of movement trajectories were significantly associated with full-scale intelligence quotient independent of gestational age (GA) and sex. These effects pertained to the preferred side, characterized by more effective movement organization being linked with increased intelligence scores. The same relations were not seen in the controls. Within the children born preterm, a significant effect of GA was also found for some aspects of upper-limb movement organization. Full-scale intelligence quotient was within normal limits for both groups but significantly lower in the preterm (mean: 94.5 [range: 72-120]) compared with the fullterm (mean: 101.7 [range: 76-119]) born children.

    Conclusions: The findings demonstrate that, independent of GA, the spatiotemporal organization of upper-limb movements is partly associated with cognitive performance in children born preterm.

  • 7.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Brain findings in relation to cognitive outcomes in preterm children at school age2012In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 54, p. 33-34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: To explore whether brain volumes in ex-preterm born children at school age relates to their cognitive abilities.

    BACKGROUND: It is well established that a preterm birth is associated with an increased risk for cognitive deficits that often remain undetected until school age. Such deficits are likely caused by an atypical neurodevelopment. There is, however, relatively little known about the characterization of the preterm born children’s brain in relation to long-term cognitive performance.

    METHODS: A sample of preterm children (n = 32) and typically developing fullterm children (n = 38) at 7-8-years underwent 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with additional synthetic MR for extraction of brain tissue. MR-findings were related to performance on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV).

    RESULTS: The preterm children performed significantly poorer than fullterm peers on the WISC-IV in terms of total IQ (M = 95.1 and 103.5, respectively) and other measures. Overall, the total brain volume was positively correlated with general cognitive ability (total IQ). Additionally, a significant relation between grey matter (GM) and IQ was found for the preterm children. However, no association between white matter (WM) and IQ was found.

    CONCLUSIONS: Even in a small sample of school-aged children with a history of birth comparatively close to term it was possible to detect a link between atypical brain volumes and cognitive functioning. The nature of these associations is discussed in terms of how GM and WM may contribute to long-term cognition deficits associated with a preterm birth.

  • 8.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Developmental progression and side specialization in upper-limb movements from 4 to 8 years in children born preterm and fullterm2018In: Developmental Neuropsychology, ISSN 8756-5641, E-ISSN 1532-6942, Vol. 43, no 3, p. 219-234Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated developmental changes and differences in upper-limb movement organization from 4 to 8 years of age in children born preterm (PT) and fullterm (FT). Kinematic recordings of precision-demanding unimanual movements and lateral assessments were carried out in 37 children (18 PT). All children, particularly children born PT, displayed considerable gain in movement kinematics. Contrary to controls, children born PT displayed persistently less-evident side preference. Gestational age (GA) contributed significantly to kinematic differences shown, with larger upper-limb deviances in the lowest GAs, in agreement with cross-sectional findings of altered hemispheric connections and delayed side-specialization among children born very PT.

  • 9.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Existence of functional asymmetries in arm movements of preterm born children at 6 to 8 years old2010In: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 52 (Suppl. 4) Brussels, Belgium May 27-29, 2010, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, p. 31-31Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Handedness in preterm born children: a systematic review and a meta-analysis2011In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 49, no 9, p. 2299-2310Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been proposed that left and/or non-right handedness (NRH) is over-represented in children with a history of preterm birth because such births are associated with a greater incidence of insult to the brain. We report an approximate two-fold increase in left and/or non-right handedness based on a systematic search of the literature from 1980 to September 2010 for English-language articles reporting handedness status in preterm children compared with fullterm controls either as a main focus of the study or as a secondary finding. In total, thirty articles met the inclusion criteria. However, there was a great variation between the included studies in terms of objectives, population characteristics, sample size and methodologies used. While the majority of studies reported a higher incidence of NRH in preterm than fullterm children, this was not a consistent finding. A quality assessment was made to explore the differences in overall study quality and handedness assessment methodology between studies. A random-effects model meta-analysis was then performed to estimate the accumulated effect of preterm birth on handedness (18 studies; 1947 cases and 8170 controls). Preterm children displayed a significantly higher occurrence of NRH than fullterm children (odds ratio [OR]: 2.12; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.59–2.78). Sources of heterogeneity were investigated by supplementary meta-analyses considering studies with high or low overall and handedness assessment quality. Publication bias was assessed by Egger’s test of the intercept and Duvall and Tweedie’s trim-and-fill method. The outcomes of these procedures did not jeopardize the overall finding of reliably increased OR for NRH in preterm children. The present review suggests that a preterm birth is indeed associated with a greater than two-fold likelihood of NRH. Several studies also explored the relationship between handedness and neuropsychological functioning (cognition mainly) with an array of methods. Although not without disagreement, this association was found to be concordant. Studying handedness in preterm children, therefore, is a potentially important index of hemispheric organization and cognitive and sensory–motor functions following neurodevelopmental disturbance.

  • 11.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Relationen mellan sensomotorisk funktion, kognitiv nivå och neurobiologisk utveckling hos barn som fötts för tidigt2013In: Svensk Neuropsykologi: Medlemstidning för Sveriges Neuropsykologiska Förening, ISSN 1402-6945, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 25-30Article, review/survey (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kolbäcken Child Rehabilitation Centre, Umeå, Sweden.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Relations between cognitive performance and movement organization in preterm children at 6 to 8 years old2011In: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 53 (Suppl. s3), Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, p. 45-45Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: To explore the relations between cognitive performance and spatio-temporal organization of upper-body movements in preterm children at school age compared with full-term peers.

    Background: Neuromotor disabilities and lowered cognitive performance are frequently reported in school-aged preterm children. A few studies have also reported associations between intelligence and motor skill outcomes in this population as assessed by standardized test batteries. At present, however, there is no knowledge of how measures of intelligence relate to more refined measurements of movement quality in preterm children.

    Design/Method: In the present study, performance on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV) was related to optoelectronic registrations (ProReflex, Qualisys Inc.) of arm movement performance during a unimanual precision task in a sample of preterm children at 6 to 8 years (n=31) compared with typically developing full-term children (n=36).

    Results: A significant group effect was revealed for Fullscale IQ, indicating poorer overall performance on the WISC-IV by preterm (mean 95.1) than full-term (mean 103.5) participants. The same pattern was apparent for both the Verbal and Performance indexes and the majority of the sub-tests. Correlation analyses were performed to test the associations between cognitive performance and spatiotemporal movement parameters. Several findings emerged from this procedure and will be presented, including significant relations between Full-scale IQ and movement segmentation at both the proximal and distal level in preterm but not full-term participants.

    Conclusions: Measures of WISC-IV appear significantly associated with kinematic outcome measures in schoolaged preterm children in terms of better cognitive performance being linked with better movement organization. The same associations were not seen in the age- and sexmatched full-term group. This type of investigation adds to the understanding of relations between cognitive and motor performance in the context of movement organization, coordination, and control depending on birth history.

  • 13.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sensorimotor behavior in children born preterm and adolescents with Cerebral Palsy: Side preference, movement organization, and training2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Preterm birth (< 37 complete gestation weeks, GWs) is the single most prominent risk factor for the development of cerebral palsy (CP). This is due to the immature physiological state of the preterm born infant which increases the risk of brain lesions. In CP, prominent sensorimotor, cognitive, and perceptual deviations are manifested with varying degrees of functional impairment. Although most children born preterm (PT) do not develop CP, sensorimotor and cognitive deficits are frequently reported in the absence of major disability. To date, few studies have focused on detailed kinematic analysis of upper-body goal-directed movements and how aspects of movement organization and control are related to hand preference, intellectual function, gestational age, and sex within groups of prematurely born children. Further, studies evaluating effects of sensorimotor training in persons with CP is needed and of importance as positive effects on movement performance may increase individual autonomy as a consequence.To investigate the prevalence of non-right hand preference within children born preterm (PT) in comparison to children born fullterm (FT), a meta-analysis and literature review were performed (study I). It was shown that children born PT had increased rates of non-right handedness (NRH) corresponding to 22% compared to 12% in the FT group (odds ratio 2.12). In study II, hand preference and side specific movement performance in children born PT (. 35 GWs) compared to an age matched group of children born FT were investigated. All included participants were 4-8 years of age without major disability. Movement performance was studied through detailed kinematic registrations of the head, arm, and hand during a goal-directed task and hand preference through observations of the hand used when manipulating different objects. On a group level, the children born PT, specifically those born < 33 GWs, showed an increased rate of NRH, weaker strength of hand preference, and a lack of side specificity in terms of movement kinematics. In general, the children born < 33 GWs also displayed poorer movement organization and control as expressed by longer durations, less smooth and longer distances of the movement trajectories. These findings imply that preterm birth has long term effects on sensorimoror organization and function, possibly reflecting a developmental delay and/or a persistent effect that may be associated with the increased risk of deviations in brain development.In study III, associations between movement performance, assessed with the same task as in study II, and intellectual function (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th ed; WISC-IV) were studied. This study included a subsample of the children from study II at 6-8 years of age. The results showed a link between movement organization and general intellectual functioning (IQ), when controlling for effects of GA and sex, for the PT born but not the FT born children. These findings suggest shared neural underpinnings and interrelated development of motor and intellectual functions.In study IV, kinematic analysis of upper-body movements and subjective experience of change in upper-body function were applied before and after a period of synchronized metronome training (SMT) in adolescents with varying degree of CP to study the effects of this type of training. The SMT method applied entailed elements of movement timing and rhythmic activation coupled with feedback and was hypothesized to train sensorimotor integration. It was found that SMT did improve, to varying degrees, the organization and control of movements in adolescents with CP. The participants with more severe forms of CP reported substantial effects in daily living activities. The observed effects of SMT warrant further study of specific effects on movement planning, biomechanical constraints, and attention.The relation between hand preference and movement performance, movement performance and intellectual function, and aspects related to the SMT method applied in study IV are discussed. Specifically, the lack of side specific movement organization within the group of children born PT is discussed from perspectives of motor learning, plasticity, and genetics. The relations between movement performance and intellectual functions are considered and ideas for how this association could be tested are given. With relation to study IV, the functions trained by the specific SMT method applied and the accessibility of individuals with different degree of CP is discussed. Methodological considerations and ideas for future research approaches within these areas are presented.

  • 14.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Farooqi, Aijaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Domellöf, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Early risk factors and cognitive outcomes in children born preterm2012In: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology: Special Issue: Proceedings of the 3rd UK Paediatric Neuropsychology Symposium: Early Behaviour Relationships and Prognostic Indicators, 23-27 April 2012, London, UK, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, Vol. 54, p. 24-24Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Research has consistently demonstrated a greater risk for learning-related problems in children born preterm. However, little research has explored the longterm effects of early risk factors (RFs) on cognitive outcome. Thus, the associations between RFs and cognitive functions are the main focus of the present research.

    Methods: A sample of 32 children born preterm (M GW=31.5, [22–35]; M age=7.7yrs) and 38 age and sex matched full-term born control group (M age=7.7) underwentWechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV) testing. A number of RF in the pre/perinatal period was identified from information in medical records.

    Results: The children born preterm had significantly lower scores than full-term controls on the WISC-IV in terms of full-scale IQ (FSIQ; M=94.5 and 102.1 respectively) and performance index (PIQ) (M=100 and 106.8 respectively). Within the preterm group, standardized birth weight (BW) was positively correlated with FSIQ and PIQ. Further, the total number of RF was negatively correlated with FSIQ and working memory index.

    Discussion: As previously shown, most of the children born preterm score within normal limits on the WISC-IV, they score significantly lower and demonstrate higher rates of sub-average IQ and PIQ than their full-term peers. Additionally, early RFs were associated with several measures of cognitive functioning. Thus, these results highlight the importance of including early medical history when analyzing outcomes of preterm birth. Further enquiries are necessary to look into the relationship between specific RFs and cognition in order to better predict outcomes.

  • 15.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kolbäcken Child Rehabilitation Centre, Umeå, Sweden.
    Ferronato, Priscilla A. M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Physical Education School, São Paulo University, São Paulo, Brazil.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Associations between motor skills, cognitive function and birth immaturitly in school-aged children born preterm2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: Within the framework of an ongoing longitudinal study, relations between motor skills and cognitive function in 7-8-year-old preterm born children were investigated.

    BACKGROUND: Motor and cognitive problems have been suggested to be the two major sequalea of a preterm birth. Global and selective deficit of neuromotor and executive functions have been found within this group of children at school age. However, few studies haveinvestigated the associations between motor skills andcognitive function in relation toweeks of gestation (GW) and birth weight (BW).

    DESIGN/METHOD: Children (n = 18) born between 25-34 GW performed the Movement-ABC 2 (M-ABC 2) and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV). Scaled scores from M-ABC 2 (hand function, ball handling skills, static- and dynamic balance, total score) were correlated with indexes derived from the WISC-IV (verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, processing speed, full scale intelligence quotient [FSIQ]), GW and BW.

    RESULTS: The majority of children had mild to moderate general motor impairments (n = 10) where hand function was most affected (n = 15). FSIQ was somewhat below the norm (M = 95) where working memory (WM) was most impaired (M = 87). Further, associations between motor skills (apart from balance) and processing speed was shown, FSIQ was related to GW, and BW to WM, perceptual reasoning and FSIQ. Most of the associations remained even when excluding two children with a diagnosis of hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

    CONCLUSIONS: No direct relationships between GW/BW and motor skills were shown. However, the associations found suggest that cognitive function may be a mediating factor between birth status and motor skills. Other analytical methods requiring larger study samples are needed to verify such causality.

  • 16.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Associations between manual dexterity scores from the M-ABC 2 and kinematic properties of goal-directed upper-limb movements and in school-aged children born preterm2016In: Challenge the Boundaries, 2016, p. P-Fr-135-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Children born preterm (PT; <38 gestational weeks, GW) are frequently reported to have deviations in motor proficiency. Most studies use standardized test batteries to determine motor function in these children. Few studies have however examined the relations between test battery outcomes and outcomes from more detailed movement analysis.

    Aim

    To investigate associations between outcomes on the manual dexterity subtests from the Movement-ABC 2 with detailed 3D kinematic registrations during performance of a sensorimotor task with demands on fine motor skills and precision in school-aged children born PT and a comparison group born at full-term (FT).

    Methods

    As part of an ongoing quasi-longitudinal study, 7-8 year old children born PT (< 36 GW; n = 17) and an aged matched typically developing comparison group (n = 19) performed the M-ABC 2 and a fine motor task where 3D kinematic registration technique was applied. M-ABC 2 scaled scores from the manual dexterity index (MDI) were correlated with kinematic parameters sensitive to planning and on-line control (movement units, distance and speed). Differences between the PT and FT group were also analyzed.

    Results

    Preliminary analyses show no group differences on the outcomes from the 3D kinematic analyses but differences were evident on two (peg-board and follow-track) of the subtests constituting the MDI and the MDI where children born PT have lower scores than FT. For both groups but in different ways, within-group correlations show some associations between extracted kinematic properties and dexterity outcomes.

    Conclusions

    As the groups differed on the MDI outcomes it is surprising that none were found on the kinematic properties examined. Further, relatively few associations were found between the kinematic and M-ABC 2 outcomes. Investigation of the influence cognitive and executive functions have on these performances may offer explanations for this inconsistency

  • 17.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Handedness and its association to spatio-temporal organization of goal-directed movements in preterm born children at 4-8 years of age2011In: Proceedings for the Motor Control and Human Skills Conference, Curtin University , 2011, p. 43-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Children born preterm with no known neurological impairment have been shown to have substantial and persistent motor dysfunction at school age1,2. Additionally, higher incidence of non-right handedness has been shown in preterm born populations3. A finding that may be associated with generally affected motor function due to neuropathology and/or developmental delay. So far, few studies have investigated parameters related to movement control and handedness in conjunction and the influence of age in this population. Thus, this study is aimed at the investigation of side differences in spatio-temporal properties of goal-directed upper-limb movements and the influence of age and perinatal factors in preterm born children in comparison to age and sex matched term born children.

    DESIGN: The current study includes a sample of preterm born children (n=65, £35 gestation weeks) with no known neurological impairment and age and sex matched controls (n= 73) of 4- to 8-years of age. Hand preference was assessed by repeated observation of the frequency of hand used for manipulation of five different items. Optoelectronic technique (6 camera, 240 Hz, ProReflex, Qualisys Inc.) was used to record upper body movements during a goal-directed unimanual task with high demand on precision. Information regarding duration and smoothness of the movement trajectories was extracted.

    RESULTS: It was found that the preterm children have a less evident hand preference as compared to their full term peers. Preliminary findings from the kinematic analyses showed that the preterm born children had longer movement durations and more segmented movement trajectories of the preferred hand. Further, the performance in terms of movement segmentation and duration were more equal between the preferred and non-preferred hand in the preterm group. Age influenced the outcome significantly for both groups where the younger children had longer durations and more segmentations than the older. 

    CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the preterm born children, as compared to term born controls, have affected motor function as indicated by spatio-temporal properties related to coordination and control. Further, the preterm group showed less evident hand preference in terms of frequency of hand use and in the quality of movement in terms of kinematics. In conclusion, the less evident hand preference and the generally affected motor function indicate a neuromotor dysfunction in the preterm children that may be associated with a general developmental delay.

  • 18.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    KINEMATIC EFFECTS OF SENSORIMOTOR TIMING TRAINING IN CHILDREN WITH DIPLEGIC CEREBRAL PALSY2013In: 22nd Annual meeting of ESMAC, 2013, Glasgow, Scotland, 2013, p. 167-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION and AIM

    The objective of the present study was to explore the individual effects of sensorimotor timing training with the Interactive Metronome©  (IM) in young individuals with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (DCP). IM is a multi- modal integration training method where the goal is to synchronize rhythmic movement activation with a beat. To this end, error feedback is provided via auditory and visual cues. One previous case study has shown positive effects on upper-limb kinematics of IM training in children with hemiplegic CP [1]. However, there is a need for

    extended scientific evaluation of the effects of existing training methods for children with CP of various types and severity. In the present study 3D movement registration technique was used to objectively evaluate training effects on goal-directed upper-limb movements.

    PATIENTS/MATERIALS and METHODS

    Participants comprised three children with spastic DCP (2 boys;1 girl, age range: 12-16 years).  The score on the

    Manual Ability Classification System was II, IV, and III and the Gross Motor Function Classification System score was III, IV, and IV for Case I-III, respectively. The spasticity severely affected arm function in case II and III. All cases were diagnosed with intellectual disability and other comorbidities were diagnoses of autism, epilepsy, cortical visual impairment, strabismus, dysarthria, asthma and scoliosis. IM training consisted of a 4 week (12 sessions) individually customised program including bilateral and unilateral movements of the arms

    and hands. To establish short- and long-term effects, goal-directed upper-limb movements were examined by the

    use of a 6-camera optoelectronic recording system (240Hz, ProReflex, Qualisys Inc.) at three time points, before and at two following occasions after the IM training (post-test I, 1 week after completed training; post-test II, 6 months after post-test I). The goal-directed evaluation task consisted of pushing three buttons in a sequential order in four different directions (extension-flexion; flexion-extension; adduction-abduction; abduction- adduction). The following parameters were derived from the wrist marker; movement duration (time needed to complete the task), segmentation of the movement trajectory (number of movement units), and 3D distance.

    RESULTS

    The intra- as well as the inter-individual variability of IM effects were large. Case I showed some improvement

    in timing ability with auditory error feedback at post-test I as measured by the IM equipment. Self-phased timing was not improved. Case II and III showed no apparent improvement in timing ability. For Case I, the 3D analyses of the movement trajectories during the evaluation task, showed great inconsistency with no systematic improvements at both post-test occasions. However, Case II and III improved significantly as characterized by decreased duration at post-test I. This improvement remained at post-test II. Further, the segmentations of the wrist movement trajectory in terms of the number of movement units significantly decreased at post-test I. This finding  was  also  stable  at  post-test  II.  Few  changes  were  detected  on  the  3D  distance  for  either  case.

    DISCUSSION and CONCLUSIONS

    No substantial improvement was shown on timing ability for any of the cases, possibly due to task constraints

    inflicted by the severity of the CP in these children. However, the training did result in faster and smoother movements for Case II and III. The effect appeared to mainly affect temporal aspects and remained at 6 month follow up. For these cases, the results suggest improved motor planning and control of goal-directed upper-limb actions. Case I showed no improvements, possibly due to the complexity of comorbidity including diagnoses of autism and intellectual disability. Thus, IM appears to be a feasible and promising method to improve movement control in some children diagnosed with severe types of CP. However, future studies should include outcome measures pertaining to attention as the IM encompasses high attentional demand.

    REFERENCES

    [1] Johansson, A.-M., Domellöf, E., & Rönnqvist, L. (2012). Short- and long-term effects of synchronized metronome   training   in   children   with   hemiplegic   cerebral   palsy:   a   two   case   study.   Developmental

    Neurorehabilitation, 15(2), 160–9. doi:10.3109/17518423.2011.635608

  • 19.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kolbäcken Child Rehabilitation Centre, Umeå.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Long-term influences of a preterm birth on movement organization and side specialization in children at 4–8 years of age2014In: Developmental Psychobiology, ISSN 0012-1630, E-ISSN 1098-2302, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 1263-1277Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study explored upper-limb and head kinematics during unimanual goal-directed movements in children born preterm (PT) and full-term (FT) aged 4–8 years. Further, functional lateralization was investigated through side-specific kinematics and hand preference observations. Altogether, 141 children were included, divided into three sub-groups based on gestation week at birth (GW). Children born FT (38–41 GW) and moderately PT (33–35 GW) showed faster, smoother, and shorter movement trajectories than children born very PT (V-PT<33 GW). Only children born FT expressed evident side differences that were characterized by smoother movements with the preferred side. Regarding hand preference, the children born V-PT showed increased rates of non-right-handedness compared with the other groups. Regardless of hand preference, the children born V-PT showed less well organized movements compared with the other groups. These findings suggest that spatio-temporal movement organization and side specialization at pre-/early school-age are affected by a PT birth, and more frequently so for children born before 33 GWs, indicating long-lasting influences on neuromotor development and specialization.

  • 20.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Short- and long-term effects of synchronized metronome training in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: a two case study2012In: Developmental Neurorehabilitation, ISSN 1751-8423, E-ISSN 1751-8431, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 160-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Children with cerebral palsy (CP) require individualized long-term management to maintain and improve motor functions. The objective of this study was to explore potential effects of synchronized metronome training (SMT) on movement kinematics in two children diagnosed with spastic hemiplegic CP (HCP).

    Method: Both children underwent 4-weeks/12 sessions of SMT by means of the Interactive Metronome (IM). Optoelectronic registrations of goal-directed uni- and bimanual upper-limb movements were made at three occasions; pre-training, post completed training and at 6-months post completed training.

    Results: Significant changes in kinematic outcomes following IM training were found for both cases. Findings included smoother and shorter movement trajectories in the bimanual condition, especially for the affected side. In the unimanual condition, Case I also showed increased smoothness of the non-affected side.

    Conclusions: The observed short- and long-term effects on the spatio-temporal organization of upper-limb movements need to be corroborated and extended by further case-control studies.

  • 21.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kolbäcken Child Rehabilitation Centre, Umeå, Sweden.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Short- and long-term effects of timing training in young people with cerebral palsy: a kinematic approach2010In: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 52 (Suppl. 4) Brussles, Belgium May 27-29, 2010, Wiley Online library , 2010, p. 23-24Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interactive Metronomea (IM) is a multi-modal integration training method based on rhythmic activation of movements in synchronization with a tone where error feedback is provided via auditory and visual cues. However, there is a need for detailed evaluations of this method to verify functional improvements inCP.Here we explored individual effects of IM in five young individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) of different severity. IM training consisted of a 4-week (12 sessions) individually customised program including bilateral and unilateral movements of upper- and lower-extremities. To establish short- and long-term effects, goal-directed upper-limb movements were examined by using a six optoelectronic camera system (240Hz, ProReflex, Qualisys Inc.) at three time points, before and at two following occasions (post-test I; post-test II) after IM training. At post-test I, timing ability was improved in the majority of participants. Kinematic analyses revealed shorter total task durations for all but one individual. Reduced segmentation ofmovements and increased velocity, especially on the more distal parts of the upper extremities, were also observed. No effects were evident on cumulative distance, primarily indicating training effects on temporal movement properties. At post-test II, 6 months after post-test I, most of the participantsmaintained their improved timing ability. The observed changes in kinematic properties suggests that timing training is promising for improving motor control in young individuals with CP. Further studies involving larger samples are required to corroborate and extend the present findings, particularly regarding the neural mechanisms involved in mediating motor improvements following IMtraining.

  • 22.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Spatio-temporal aspects of upper-limb goal-directed movements and relations to perinatal factors in preterm 4-year-old children2011In: Abstracts of the Europeans Academy of Childhood Disability: 23 Annual Meeting, 8-11 June 2011, Rome, Italy, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, p. 37-37Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: This ongoing quasi-longitudinal study is aimed at the investigation of spatio-temporal properties of goaldirected upper limb movements in 4-year-old children born preterm, compared to age- and sex-matched children born at term. Further, relations between movement quality, in terms of coordination and control, and perinatal factors are of interest.

    Background: Several studies have shown substantial and persistent motor dysfunction in children born preterm, with no known neurological impairment, at school age. Few studies have, however, investigated parameters related to movement control and coordination and their possible perinatal associations with detailed measurement methods in children at 4 years of age.

    Design/Method: Performances with the left and right armhand during a unimanual continuous sequential precision task were registered by a 6-camera optoelectronic tracking system (240 Hz, ProReflex, Qualisys Inc.). Information with regard to spatial and temporal parameters of the movement trajectories was extracted.

    Results: Preliminary results from analyses of kinematic data show longer duration and more spatio-temporal segmentations of the movement trajectory in the preterm group compared to their peers. Analyses of associations between kinematic outcome data and perinatal factors will further be investigated.

    Conclusions: These results indicate that the 4-year-old children born preterm, as compared to term born controls, have affected neuromotor function as indicated by kinematic properties related to coordination and control. Further analyses will reveal whether these findings are associated with specific perinatal factors.

  • 23.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Timing training in three children with diplegi ccerebral palsy: short- and long-term effects on upper-limb movement organization and functioning2014In: Frontiers in Neurology, ISSN 1664-2295, E-ISSN 1664-2295, Vol. 5, article id 38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite the great need of interventions to maintain and improve motor functions in children with diplegic cerebral palsy (DCP), scientific evaluations of existing training methods are rare. This study aimed to explore individual effects of synchronized metronome training (SMT) on motor timing, spatio-temporal movement organization, and subjective experiences of changes in upper-limb functions in three children with DCP. All children participated in an individualized 4-week/12 session SMT training regime. Measurements before training (Pre), after training (Post1), and at 6 months post completed training (Post2) were made by the applied SMT training equipment, optoelectronic registrations of goal-directed upper-limb movements, and a questionnaire assessing subjective experiences of changes in upper-limb functions and usability. In general, the training regime was shown to have little effect on motor timing. However, some positive changes in spatio-temporal movement organization were found. Two children also reported substantial long-lasting positive changes in subjective experiences of hand/arm functionality in terms of increased movement control and reduced muscle tone. For these children, parallel kinematic findings also indicated smoother and faster movement trajectories that remained at Post2. Although highly individualized, the shown improvements in upper-limb kinematics and subjective experiences of improved functionality of the hands/arms for two of the cases warrant further explorations of SMT outcomes in children with DCP.

  • 24.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Grip, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Physics (CMTF).
    Strong, Andrew
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Selling, Jonas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Demographic Data Base.
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Finger movement control and associated brain activity responses post-stroke2016In: XXI ISEK Congress, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND AND AIM: Impaired finger dexterity is common after stroke, often affecting activities of daily living. Knowledge of kinematic characteristics and of underlying neurological mechanisms of such impairments is important to understand functional recovery. This study aims to investigate finger movement control and related brain activity patterns post-stroke (PS). METHODS: Data from a subsample including 9 participants PS with residual hemiparesis affecting manual dexterity (M age- 66; 3 female) and 12 able-bodied control (C) participants (M age- 65; 3 female) were analyzed. Two series of self-paced cyclic finger extension-flexion movements in random order were performed for each hand (4 series with vision, V, and 4 without vision, NV). Optoelectronic cameras monitored the 3D movement of markers affixed to the fingertips. Motion data was used to calculate each finger's individuation index (II), reflecting movement independence, each finger's Stationarity index (SI), reflecting the ability to keep the finger still while another moves [1] and Movement frequency (MF). Functional magnetic resonance imaging, with simultaneous movement recording, was used to investigate brain activity patterns in relation to the kinematic parameters. II, SI, MF and the effect of vision were analyzed for the 4th digit. RESULTS: A factorial ANOVA 2 [group] x 2 [condition] x 2 [side] x [index type] showed an effect for group (p < .0001; PS < C); condition (p < .01; NV < V); side (p < .0001; affected/non-preferred < non-affected/preferred); and index type (p < .0001; SI < II). An interaction between group and side (p < .01) showed that indices of the affected side were lower compared to the non-affected side within the PS group and compared to both sides in the C group. No significant effects were apparent for MF but significant correlations were found between the indices and MF that were restricted to the PS group alone (over all conditions- r = -0.22; p < .01; within the NV condition- r = -0.19; p < .01; within the affected side r = -0.15; p < .05; and within the SI categorization r = -0.14; p < .05). Furthermore, within NV for the non-affected hand on the SI alone (r = -0.54; p < .05). All indicate that slower movements had higher indices. DISCUSSION: The associations between slower MF and higher index values within the PS group were located to conditions with increased difficulty (NV, affected side, and SI). Thus, reducing speed may be a selected strategy to increase control of finger movements PS when the demand on motor control is high. Further, with the applied calculation of finger movement independence we were able detect group differences, side differences within the PS group, and a positive effect of vision of the hands during performance. This indicates that this calculation is a sensitive measure that could be used to study the effects of stroke and to monitor progression in motor recovery. [1] Häger-Ross & Schieber, 2000, J Neurosci 20:8542-50

  • 25.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Grip, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Strong, Andrew
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Selling, Jonas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Demographic Data Base.
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Three dimensional kinematic analyses of movement control of individual fingers post-stroke2015In: Gait & Posture, ISSN 0966-6362, E-ISSN 1879-2219, Vol. 42, no Supplement 1, p. S33-S33Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research question: Objectives of the present study are: (1) to quantify finger movements in a 3D context and (2) by this method investigate the ability to perform individualized finger movements, with and without vision of the hands, in persons with a chronic stroke diagnosis compared to able-bodied controls.

    Introduction: Increased knowledge of how fine movement control is affected by stroke is important for the understanding of recovery of function. This is crucial for the development of reliable and valid assessment methods for evaluation of rehabilitation of the upper limbs. This study is part of the MOST project (MOST-MOvement control in STroke) where both clinical tests and 3D movement assessments are performed.

    Materials and methods: At present, 18 persons post-stroke (M age = 67 years; 6 women) and 26 able-bodied controls (M age = 62 years, 11 women) have participated. The ability to perform uni-manual individualized finger movements and the effect of vison of the hands were evaluated. Participants were instructed to move a specific finger in cyclic extension–flexion movements at the metacarpophalangeal joint, keeping the rest of the finger straight and the other fingers still, at a self-paced speed during 10 s (2 test series for each hand; 8 test series in total). The task was performed seated. The wrists were extended about 10° and fixated to a wooden frame with forearm support. Reflective markers were affixed to each fingertip and movements were recorded by optoelectronic cameras. Based on the positional change of the fingers during task performance, two indices ranging from 0-1 were calculated: (1) Individuation index (II) where the independence of each finger movement is shown and where 1 indicate complete independence, (2) stationary index (SI) where 1 indicate that the finger remains still when the other fingers move [1].

    Results: Our results show that it is possible to quantify individual finger movements by use of 3D movement analysis addressing the quality of movement performance in stroke survivors: all but 3 persons post-stroke were able to perform the task. Preliminary analyses (based on a subsample constituted of 8 post-stroke and 8 controls) verify that the test discriminated between groups where participants post-stroke had lower values on II and SI as compared to the control persons, the lowest values were observed for the middle and ring fingers. Ongoing analyses will show if vision influences the outcomes.

    Discussion: A set-up has been tested where individual finger movements can be quantified in 3D, and that discriminates between persons post stroke compared to controls. This advancement carries a promise for development of better assessment methods for recovery of function post-stroke.

    Reference

    [1] C. Häger-Ross, M.H. Schieber Quantifying the independence of human finger movements: comparisons of digits, hands and movement frequencies.J Neurosci, 20 (2000), pp. 8542–8550

     

     

  • 26.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Timing and rhytmicity training of children with cerebral palsy2009In: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 51 (Suppl. 3) Vilnius, Litauen, 3-6 juni, 2009, Wiley Online library, Mac Keith Press , 2009, p. 28-29Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Lenfeldt, Niklas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Riklund, Katrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Alterations in white matter microstructure are associated with goal-directed upper-limb movement segmentation in children born extremely preterm2017In: Human Brain Mapping, ISSN 1065-9471, E-ISSN 1097-0193, Vol. 38, no 10, p. 5051-5068Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Altered white matter microstructure is commonly found in children born preterm (PT), especially those born at an extremely low gestational age (GA). These children also commonly show disturbed motor function. This study explores the relation between white matter alterations and upperlimb movement segmentation in 41 children born PT (19 girls), and 41 children born at term (18 girls) at 8 years. The PT group was subdivided into extremely PT (E-PT; GA = 25–27 weeks, N = 10), very PT (V-PT; GA = 28–32 weeks, N = 13), and moderately PT (M-PT; GA = 33–35 weeks, N = 18). Arm/hand preference (preferred/non-preferred) was determined through object interactions and the brain hemispheres were designated accordingly. White matter alterations were assessed using diffusion tensor imaging in nine areas, and movement segmentation of the body-parts head, shoulder, elbow, and wrist were registered during a unimanual goal-directed task. Increased movement segmentation was demonstrated consistently on the preferred side in the E-PT group compared with the term born group. Also compared with the term born peers, the E-PT group demonstrated reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in the cerebral peduncle (targeting the corticospinal tract) in the hemisphere on the non-preferred side and in the splenium of corpus callosum. In contrast, in the anterior internal capsule on the preferred side, the E-PT group had increased FA. Lower FA in the cerebral peduncle, but higher FA in the anterior internal capsule, was associated with increased movement segmentation across body-parts in a contralateral manner. The results suggest that impaired development of sensorimotor tracts in E-PT children could explain a sub-optimal spatiotemporal organization of upper-limb movements.

  • 28.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Faroogi, Aijaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Cognitive performance and behavioral functions in relation to gestational age (GA) at birth2015In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 57, no Suppl s4, p. 21-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction:

    It is well established that a very preterm birth (PT) relates to increased behavioral problems. The aim of this study was to investigate effects and associations between different gestational ages (GA) at birth (term, late-to-extreme) and later functions. This study is part of an ongoing, longitudinal project.

    Participants and Methods:

    Test outcomes from WISC-IV and Achenbach’s Child-Behavior-Checklist (CBCL) in children tested at 7-8-years (M=7.7) were used to investigate group differences as effect of GA at birth. In total, 64 preterm born (PT), GA range 22-36, (divided into groups of 14 extremely-PT/EPT, 17 very-PT/VPT, and 33 moderately PT/MPT) and 64 term born (TB), were included. Additionally, associations between GA, birth weight (BW), and outcomes from WISC-IV and CBCL were investigated.

    Results:

    Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) revealed significantly (p < .05) poorer WISC outcomes on Verbal Comprehension Index, Perceptual Reasoning Index, and on Full-Scale-IQ for children born EPT/VPT in comparison to MPT and TB born. Parents’ CBCL ratings reveled that EPT children had significantly higher prevalence of Attention problems, Thought problems, Aggressive and Somatic complaints. Including the PT-group only shown significant positive correlations between GA/BW respectively and full scale IQ. Higher GA/BW was related to increasing IQ scores.  Significant negative correlations were seen between GA/BW respectively and TotProblem/CBCL-scale. Additionally, CBCL/DSM-Oriented Scales; Adhd-, Opposite-, and Conduct-Problems correlated significantly negative with GA/BW in the PT-born children.

    Conclusion:

    Our study provides further support for associations between increased risk of cognitive and behavior problems with decreasing GA/BW at birth.

  • 29.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Faroogi, Aijaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Domellöf, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Riklund, Katrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Lindqvist, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Birgander, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Effects of twin-births on IQ, handedness, and brain volumes in 8-years-old preterm born twins and matched singletons: a pilot study2016In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 58, no S6, p. 57-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Children born preterm have a high prevalence of long-term cognitive and behavioral disturbances. Still, studies of how preterm-twin-births may effect brain maturation and thus, contribute to long-term effects on brain-behavioral development and functions are rare.

    Aim: To investigate whether brain volumes differ between twin (TPB) and singleton preterm born (SPB) and full-term born children (FTB) and associate to long-term cognitive and behavioral outcomes as well as to gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW) and head circumference (BHC) at birth.

    Method: A sample of 22 twin born preterm (Mean GA=32.1, BW=1781), 23 matched singletons preterm (Mean GA=31.8, BW=1751), and 22 full-term singletons were included. All children were investigated by means of their cognition functions (WISC-IV), handedness performance index and brain volumes (3 Tesla MRI) at early school ages (M=7.8y) in 40 children (9 TPB, 10 SPB, 21 FTB).

    Results: The FTB-children performed better than both TPB and SPB on cognitive performance, and showed higher IQ. Brain volumes, especially Gray matter were stronger associated with IQ in the twins. Furthermore it was found that the SPB singletons had smaller Total Brain volume and less Grey Matter than FTB. The twins showed a higher prevalence of non-right handedness associated to GA, than both SPB and FTB. Independently of birth status, GA, BW and BHC were found to correlate positively with IQ, Total Brain volume, and Gray-and White matter volumes.

    Conclusion: Discordant handedness in TPB children and associations to lower GA indicate effect of twin-births on early functional laterality. The overall associations found between low GA/BW and smaller BHC at birth in preterm born and associations with lower IQ and smaller brain volumes at 8-y indicate that a very preterm birth are a higher predictor for long-term effects on brain development and cognitive performance than twin-birth per se.

  • 30.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Riklund, Katrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Lindqvist, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology.
    Birgander, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology.
    Long term effects of preterm births: associations between upper-limb kinematics, brain volumes and cognitive functions2014In: Congress Programme. 1st Clinical Movement Analysis Word Conference, 2014, p. 310-310Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION and AIM

    Studies of long-term outcomes linked to a preterm birth have generally found increasing amount of neurodevelopmental and cognitive disabilities and delays. Still, few have addressed the upper-limb performance by means of kinematic outcomes in associations with cognitive functions and brain volumes. Thus, the main aim of this study was to investigate such possible relationships within school age preterm born children and in relation to their gestational age (GA) at birth.

    PATIENTS/MATERIALS and METHODS

    The present study is part of a longitudinal, ongoing multidisciplinary project with the goal to discover possible long-term effects of a preterm birth. In this sub-study 7-9-years-old children born preterm (PT) without early sign of neuropathology (N= 24, Mean GW=32, range 22-35) in comparison to age matched term born children (N=31) was included. Kinematics was measured by ProReflex, 3D-registration during task specific, bi- and uni-manual upper-limb movement performance. Additionally, functional brain volumes were investigated by 3-Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cognitive functions by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV).

    RESULTS

    Our preliminary results show significant poorer upper-limb kinematics with more segmented and longer movement paths in the PT-born children in comparison to the term born, this was particular evident for thus children born very- and extremely PT (<32 GA). In agreement with this finding, a decreased total brain volume and regional gray matter reduction were significantly correlated with more segmented arm and head movement trajectories, and with poorer general IQ outcomes, as well as with lower gestational ages.

    DISCUSSION and CONCLUSIONS

    The findings from the present study show that a preterm birth, and especially a very- and extremely preterm birth, may cause long-term effects on the development of neurophysiology mechanism involved in the goal-directed upper-limb movements. Additionally, it shows that the development of the neuro-motor mechanisms also are associated with both cognitive functions and the general brain development. Thus, indicating that a very preterm birth seemingly still give neuro-developmental related problems when at school age.

  • 31.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Riklund, Katrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Warntjes, Marcel J. B.
    Lenfeldt, Niklas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Associations between brain volumes, myelin and upper-limb kinematics in children born preterm2019In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 61, no S2, p. 53-54, article id OP 130Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Long-term outcomes linked to preterm (PT) births have generally found an increased amount of neuromotor-developmental delays and/or disabilities. Few studies have addressed how upper-limb kinematics associates with brain volumes and myelination. This study aimed to investigate such possible relationships within children born PT compared with term-born controls at early school age, in relation to gestational age (GA) and birth-weight (BW).

    Material and methods: This sub-study, part of a multidisciplinary project exploring long-term effects of PT births, included 27 children (Mean age= 8.2y) born PT (Mean GA= 32-weeks, range 22-35), and 33 age-matched born term. Kinematics of task-specific head and bi-/uni-manual upper-limb-movements was measured by a 3D-registration system (ProReflex). Brain volumes and myelin content were investigated by a 3-Tesla, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-scanner with a 7-min Synthetic MRI (SyMRI) acquisition-sequence.

    Results: Significantly (p < .05) less efficient upper-limb kinematics with more segmented and longer movement paths was found in PT-born compared with term-born, particularly evident for those extremely-/very PT-born (<32 GA). Smaller total brain volumes and regional white-matter reduction with less myelin were significantly correlated with more segmented and longer arm- and head-trajectories, and with lower GA and BW.

    Discussion-conclusion: The present findings show that an extremely- and very-PT-birth may cause long-term effects on neuromotor-mechanisms involved in goal-directed movements and that these effects are associated with generally delayed brain development and myelination. Additionally, SyMRI stands out as a suitable and cost-effective method for longitudinal/follow-up of brain development and changes, reducing distress in children due to a decreased scan time.

  • 32.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Effects of prematurity on brain maturation and movement performance in 7-9-year-old children2012In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 54, p. 13-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations between brain volumes and spatiotemporal properties of goal-directed upper-limb movements in relation to perinatal factors in preterm born children. BACKGROUND: Recent follow-up studies of children born prematurely have generally found worse sensory-motor performance at school age in comparison to term born children. Additionally, a higher incidence of non-right handedness has been described in preterm born children. Yet, our knowledge is still limited in how a preterm birth may affect brain maturation and how this is associated with later performance and motor functioning. DESIGN/METHODS: In the first phase of this on-going, longitudinal study, motor functions have been investigated in 7-9-years-old children born prematurely without early sign of neuropathology (N= 32, Mean GW=32) in comparison to age matched fullterm born children (N=38). Kinematic registrations during task specific upper-limb movements as well as side differences were assessed. Additionally, functional brain structures/volumes were investigated by 3-Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). RESULTS: Preliminary outcomes indicating subtle, but still poorer upper-limb performance generated from the kinematic outcome parameters and with less clear side preferences in the preterm-born children. Decreased total brain volume and regional gray matter reduction were associated with more segmented movement trajectories and with gestational age and birth weight.These results suggest that neuromotor functions are less efficient and less lateralized as an effect of a premature birth. CONCLUSIONS: The findings underscore the need for follow-up programs and more refine neuromotor investigations to improve early identification of developmental delays and therapeutic efforts to optimize motor development in preterm born children.

     

  • 33.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Kinematic analysis of sequential goal-directed movements in at-risk, preterm born children2014In: Gait & Posture, ISSN 0966-6362, E-ISSN 1879-2219, Vol. 39, no Suppl 1, p. 22-Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Kinematic analysis of sequential goal-directed movements in at-risk, preterm born children2013In: 22nd Annual Meeting of European Society for Movement Analysis in Adult and Children (ESMAC), Glasgow, Scotland, 2013, p. 53-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION and AIM: The aim of this study was to conduct kinematic analyses of sequential upper-limb movements in order to isolate different kinematic parameters that might explain the sensory-motor-functional deficits and delays commonly observed in children born preterm (PT). Quantitative analyses of reaching movements in PT infants [1] have revealed some promising results in characterizing the influence of a premature birth on movement control. Also, recent findings from studies using kinematic measurements on children with mild and moderate hemiplegic cerebral palsy [2, 3] show that kinematic measurements are valuable for making distinctions between even minor movement coordination problems and for identification of sensory-motor impairments. Nevertheless, there is still limited knowledge of how a preterm birth may effect long-term neuromotor development and few have investigated such effects by means of kinematics.

     PATIENTS/MATERIALS and METHODS: This kinematic study is part of a more comprehensive, longitudinal project with the goal of exploring the relationship between brain development/deviation and sensory-motor performance in children born PT. Participants consist of 148 children aged between 4–8 years; sixty-eight PT (<35 weeks’ gestation age (GA), range, 22-35, M = 31.7, SD = 3.4; 30 girls) with no diagnosed impairments, and eighty age matched children born full-term (FT) without medical problems (M age at testing = 6.7, SD = 1.8; 36 girls). The children performed goal-directed unimanual upper-limb task with respective hand, where small beads were picked by use of pincer-grip and threaded onto a rod sequentially. The children were informed to pick and thread as many beads as possible, one bead at the time, during a pre-set recording time of 30 seconds. The upper-limb movements were recorded by a six camera optoelectronic system (ProReflex, Qualisys Inc., Gothenburg, Sweden). The 3D data (extracted from head-, shoulder-, elbow- and wrist-markers) were further analysed by use of customized MATLAB scripts. To analyse possible effect of GA the PT children were divided into two sub-groups: moderately preterm (M-PT) = GA 33-35, n = 35 and very preterm (V-PT) = GA <32+6, n = 30.

     RESULTS: The kinematic outcomes analysed by MANOVAs, with side (preferred/ non-preferred) and group (FT, M-PT and V-PT) as categorical predictors, indicating significant group differences in most of the kinematic parameters investigated (e.g., movement duration, 3D distance and segmentation). Differences were mainly evident in the group classified as V-PT compared with M-PT and FT children. Significant correlations between children’s testing age and their kinematic outcomes were also shown within all groups (FT, M-PT and V-PT). These relations were characterized by decreased movement duration, 3D distance and movement segmentation with age.

     DISCUSSION and CONCLUSIONS: Investigating kinematic outcome parameters of upper-limb goal-directed movements confirms that a PT birth, especially a very PT birth, seems to have a long-term effect on children’s motor functions. In the present study, this was shown by means of less proficient spatiotemporal organization during sequentially performed goal-directed movements in the children born PT in comparison to the FT children. In conclusion, the kinematic movement registrations/analysis offers a reliable, non-invasive method to detect even subtle neuromotor developmental delay and/or abnormality. Thus, the method provides a unique possibility to investigate a number of crucial issues in relation to cerebral abnormalities and sensory-motor development in at-risk children.

    REFERENCES

    [1] Fallang, B., Saugstad, O. D., Grogaard, J., & Hadders-Algra, M. (2003). Kinematic quality of reaching movements in preterm infants. Pediatric Research, 53, 836-842.

    [2] Domellöf, E., Rösblad, B., & Rönnqvist, L. (2009). Impairment severity selectively affects the control of proximal and distal components of reaching movements in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 51, 807-816.

    [3] Rönnqvist, L., & Rösblad, B. (2007). Kinematic analysis on unimanual reaching and grasping movements in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Clinical Biomechanics, 22, 165-175.

  • 35.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Neuromotor and cognitive functions in 4-9-years-old children born prematurely2011In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 53, no Suppl. s3, p. 33-34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To identifying developmental differences in neurologically based functioning in preterm born children compared with typically developing, fullterm born children. BACKGROUND: Resent follow-up studies of children born prematurely, even in those without identified neuropathology, have consistently found poorer neuromotor and cognitive skills at school age; thus, at least from group level comparisons. Still, our knowledge is limited in how a preterm birth may effects later behavioural outcomes. DESIGN/METHODS: In the first phase of this ongoing, cross-sectional and quasi-longitudinal study, motor functions, laterality and cognitive functions have been investigated in 4-9-years-old children born prematurely (N= 70, Mean GW=31), and in comparison to age matched fullterm born children (N=78). Additionally, brain imaging (MRI) data was collected on both fullterm and preterm born children at the age of 7-9-years. Kinematic movement registrations and additional behaviour measurements in combination with high resolution, structural 3Tesla MRI scans was used to investigate a number of expected crucial issues and associations between neuromotor, cognitive and structural organisations in both the preterm and the full term born children. RESULTS: Preliminary outcomes indicating subtitle, but still overall differences in most of the kinematic parameters analysed from arm, hand, and head movements (e.g., movement durations, smoothes, segmentation, velocity profile), and with less lateralized sensory-motor performance in the preterm born children at the age of 4- and 7-9-years in comparison to fullterm born children. In addition, the kinematic outcomes were associated with the cognitive performance in the preterm born children. These results are suggesting that both neuromotor and cognitive functions are less efficient in preterm born children. These behavioural outcomes will further be investigated in relation to the outcomes from the MRI investigations. CONCLUSIONS: The outcome from the first analysis underscores the need for further refine investigations and follow-ups, even on an individual level, for the majority of preterm born children.

  • 36.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The association between movement organization and cognitive performance in 4-9-years-old children born prematurely2011In: Proceedings for the Motor Control and Human Skills Conference, Curtin University , 2011, p. 60-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate neurological based functioning in preterm born children in comparison with fullterm born children.

    BACKGROUND: Resent follow-up studies of children born prematurely have generally found worse perceptual and cognitive performance at school age in comparison to those fullterm born. Yet, our knowledge is limited in how a preterm birth may effects later movement organization and quality and its relation to cognitive skills.

    DESIGN/METHODS: In the first phase of this ongoing, cross-sectional and quasi-longitudinal study, sensory-motor functions have been investigated in 4-9-years-old children born prematurely without any early sign of neuropathology (N= 70, Mean GW=31) and in comparison to age matched fullterm born children (N=78). Kinematic registrations (by ProReflex) during task specific upper-limb movements as well as cognitive functions (by Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition) were assessed. Additionally, brain imaging (MRI) data was collected on both preterm and fullterm born children at the age of seven. RESULTS: Preliminary outcomes indicating subtitle, but still overall poorer motor performance generated from the analyses of the kinematic outcome parameters from the upper limbs, and with less clear side preferences, in the preterm born children at the age of 4- and 7-9-years in comparison to fullterm born children. In addition, the kinematic outcomes were associated with poorer cognitive performance in the preterm born children. These results are suggesting that both neuromotor and cognitive functions are less efficient as an effect of a premature birth. The behavioural outcomes are further investigated and associated to the outcomes from the MRI investigations.

    CONCLUSIONS: The findings from the first analysis underscores the need for follow-up programs and more refine neuromotor investigations; thus, even in preterm born children without any early sign of or identified neuropathology.

1 - 36 of 36
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