Development of spontaneous leg movements in infants with and without periventricular leukomalacia

Vaal, Juliette and Van Soest, A. J. and Hopkins, Brian and Sie, Lilian T. I. and Van Der Knaap, M.s. (2000) Development of spontaneous leg movements in infants with and without periventricular leukomalacia. Experimental Brain Research, 135 (1). pp. 94-105. ISSN 0014-4819

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The main question asked in the present study was whether support could be found for the notion that supraspinal influences on the generation of spontaneous kicking movements become increasingly apparent in the first half-year after birth. In comparing groups of infants with and without damage in tracts connected with the cortex surrounding the central sulcus, such support would consist of the finding that similar patterns of spontaneous kicking are observed early in development, whereas differences between groups should occur with increasing age. Using 3-D registrations, the spontaneous kicking movements of 19 infants with differing degrees of periventricular, lobar, and subcortical leukomalacia based on white matter (WM) abnormalities on ultrasound were compared to those of 10 healthy control infants at 6, 12, 18, and 26 weeks of corrected age. Magnetic resonance imaging recordings were used to identify the location and severity of the brain lesions. Infants with extensive lesions in the periventricular and lobar WM with or without diffuse lesions in the subcortical WM showed a decreased variability on some spatial and temporal parameters of kicks. More importantly, these infants showed a different developmental course for intralimb couplings when compared to the other infants; they were unable to dissociate tight intralimb couplings at 18 and 26 weeks. As all of these infants had substantial damage of the corticospinal tracts, these findings suggest that these tracts are involved in the regulation of intralimb joint dissociations between 4 and 6 months of age. However, caution is needed as areas outside those in which the corticospinal tracts are located could be damaged as well and most of the infants with moderate to severe lesions in the corticospinal tract had additional psychomotor problems. For interlimb couplings and most of the spatial and temporal parameters of kicks, no differences were found between groups. This strengthens the claim that inter- and intralimb couplings are organized in fundamentally different ways.

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Journal Article
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Experimental Brain Research
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25 Jul 2014 08:17
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20 Sep 2023 00:37