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Understanding the heterogeneity of balance control in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder and its impact on motor performance: a synergistic approach using brain imaging, neuromechanics and functional assessments.

Worldwide, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) accounts for 5-6% of the school-aged children showing a motor delay early in childhood. Poor balance control is the most significant motor problem occurring in 73-87% of the children with DCD. These balance deficits severely affect everyday functioning, but underlying control mechanisms are still poorly understood. Therefore, the main aim of this project is understanding the heterogeneity of DCD by studying balance performance, its control mechanisms and its impact on motor performance. Based on functional performance and neuroimaging data it is hypothesized that balance performance and control of children with DCD can be situated on a continuum between cerebral palsy (CP) and typically developing children (TDC). As such a case-control study will be performed comparing balance performance, motor performance, cortical brain activity and muscular activation patterns in children with DCD to children with CP and TDC. The novelty of this study lies in the synergistic approach of combining functional assessments with brain imaging and neuromechanical analysis. This approach is a major step forward in unraveling the interplay between the control system (brain and the rest of the nervous system) and the effector system (musculoskeletal system). It can provide groundbreaking insights into the heterogeneity of DCD as well as a better understanding of the relationship between balance and motor performance.
Date:1 Nov 2020  →  Today
Disciplines:Biomechanics, Motor control, Physiotherapy, Pediatrics and neonatology not elsewhere classified
Project type:Collaboration project