Assessing the development of balance function in children using stabilometry.

Department of Otolaryngology, Taipei Hospital, Department of Health, The Executive Yuan, Taipei, Taiwan.
International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology (Impact Factor: 0.85). 03/2009; 73(5):737-40. DOI:10.1016/j.ijporl.2009.01.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study assessed the development of balance function in children using platform stabilometry.
A total of 251 healthy children aged from 3 to 12 years were enrolled in this study. Each subject underwent stabilometry under four various conditions (A: firm surface with eyes open; B: firm surface with eyes closed; C: foam pad with eyes open; and D: foam pad with eyes closed). Another 23 healthy adults were also tested with the same protocol for comparison. Sway magnitudes such as sway velocity and circular area were calculated and compared.
Since the age was positively correlated with body height and body weight, age factor was used to correlate with the sway magnitude. The sway velocity under conditions A through D reached adult level when the child grew up to 7, 7, 8 and 12 years, respectively. In contrast, the circular area under conditions A through D reached adult level when the child was at the age of 5, 6, 8 and 7 years, respectively. Thus, balance function can be up to adult levels by age 12 years.
Compared to adults, higher sway velocity and larger circular area in children indicate incomplete development of vestibular and central nervous systems integration. Our results suggest that age factor serves the most reliable index to estimate the functional development of balance system, and a child at the age of 12 years is supposed to reach balance level of an adult.

0 0
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to investigate plantar foot sensitivity and balance control of ADHD (n=21) impaired children compared to age-matched healthy controls (n=25). Thresholds were measured at 200 Hz at three anatomical locations of the plantar foot area of both feet (hallux, first metatarsal head (METI) and heel). Body balance was quantified using the length, area and velocity described by the center of pressure (COP) during two-legged as well as one-legged stand (right and left legs). The comparison of vibration thresholds showed no differences between ADHD and healthy children at all anatomical locations of both feet. Whereas COP excursion and area were significantly lower in ADHD subjects compared to the healthy controls during two-legged stand, no differences were found in those variables when balancing on one leg. No differences in COP velocity between ADHD and healthy children were found in any analyzed conditions. The results indicate that the unusual and simple test situation may have increased the perception of vibration stimuli by the ADHD children. Furthermore, ADHD subjects seem to be less variable when performing simple tasks than healthy controls.
    Research in developmental disabilities 06/2012; 33(6):1957-63. · 4.41 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dizziness is a rare complaint among children. In this article, the authors present the embryology and development of the vestibular system, and offer a rational approach to taking a careful history and ordering and interpreting appropriate vestibular and balance testing in children. A differential diagnosis is presented, so that the likely cause of the balance disorder can be elucidated even in the most complex pediatric patients.
    Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America 04/2011; 44(2):251-71, vii. · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Children are less stable than adults during static upright stance. We investigated whether the same holds true for a task that was novel for both children and adults and highly dynamic: single-legged stance on a slackline. We compared 8-year-olds with young adults and assessed the following outcome measures: time on the slackline, stability on the slackline (calculated from slackline reaction force), gaze movement, head-in-space rotation and translation, trunk-in-space rotation, and head-on-trunk rotation. Eight-year-olds fell off the slackline quicker and were generally less stable on the slackline than adults. Eight-year-olds also showed more head-in-space rotation and translation, and more gaze variability around a visual anchor point they were instructed to fixate. Trunk-in-space and head-on-trunk rotations did not differ between groups. The results imply that the lower postural stability of 8-year-olds compared to adults - as found in simple upright stance - holds true for dynamic, novel tasks in which adults lack the advantage of more practice. They also suggest that the lack of head and gaze stability constitutes an important limiting factor in children's ability to master such tasks.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2013; 4:208.