Gross motor dysfunction and balance impairments in children and adolescents with Down syndrome: a systematic review

Preyal D. Jain, Akshatha Nayak, Shreekanth D. Karnad, Kaiorisa N. Doctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Individuals with Down syndrome present with several impairments such as hypotonia, ligament laxity, decreased muscle strength, insufficient muscular cocontraction, inadequate postural control, and disturbed proprioception. These factors are responsible for the developmental challenges faced by children with Down syndrome. These individuals also present with balance dysfunctions. Purpose: This systematic review aims to describe the motor dysfunction and balance impairments in children and adolescents with Down syndrome. Methods: We searched the Scopus, ScienceDirect, MEDLINE, Wiley, and EBSCO databases for observational studies evaluating the motor abilities and balance performance in individuals with Down syndrome. The review was registered on PROSPERO. Results: A total of 1,096 articles were retrieved; after careful screening and scrutinizing against the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 10 articles were included in the review. Overall, the children and adolescents with Down syndrome showed delays and dysfunction in performing various activities such as sitting, pulling to stand, standing, and walking. They also presented with compensatory mechanisms to maintain their equilibrium in static and dynamic activities. Conclusion: The motor development of children with Down syndrome is significantly delayed due to structural differences in the brain. These individuals have inefficient compensatory strategies like increasing step width, increasing frequency of mediolateral center of pressure displacement, decreasing an-teroposterior displacement, increasing trunk stiffness, and increasing posterior trunk displacement to maintain equilibrium. Down syndrome presents with interindividual variations; therefore, a thorough evaluation is required before a structured intervention is developed to improve motor and balance dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Pediatrics
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pediatrics

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