[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Upper Limb Physician's Rating Scale (ULPRS) is a tool that assesses movement quality of the upper limbs. It is used as an outcome measure after botulinum toxin type A injection in children with cerebral palsy (CP). This study aimed to investigate the reliability and validity of the ULPRS in children with spastic CP.
Thirty children with spastic CP (M:F=17:13) aged 5 to 13 years old were recruited. The ULPRS was scored based on recorded videotapes by four physicians on two separate occasions. The Melbourne Assessment of Unilateral Upper Limb Function (MUUL) was scored by an occupational therapist. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), 95% confidence intervals and weighted kappa statistics were calculated for the scores of ULPRS to obtain interrater and intrarater reliability. The relationship between ULPRS and MUUL was assessed using Pearson correlation coefficients.
The ICCs for the total ULPRS scores were 0.94 between raters and 0.99 to 1.00 within raters. The weighted kappa statistics for subitem scores for the ULPRS ranged from 0.67 to 1.00 within raters and from 0.46 to 0.86 between raters. The relationship between ULPRS and MUUL was strong (Pearson correlation coefficient=0.751; p<0.05).
The results demonstrated the high reliability of the total ULPRS score within and between raters. A significant concurrent validity between ULPRS and MUUL also supports the clinical utility of the ULPRS as an outcome measure of spastic upper limb in children with CP.
Yonsei Medical Journal 01/2015; 56(1):271-6. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2015.56.1.271 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was designed to investigate the level of self-care and related factors such as perceived health status, family support, stress related to diabetes mellitus, self-efficacy, depression, situational influence and glycemic control level in young and middle adulthood patients with type 2 diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to identify and explain the essences and structures of maternal conflicts in Vietnamese married immigrant women in Korea.
A phenomenological methodology was used for the study. Eleven Vietnamese married immigrant women participated in the study. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using Colaizzi's method.
Four categories, 10 clusters and 26 themes emerged from the data for the experience in maternal conflicts of Vietnamese married immigrant women. The four categories were 'An unprepared young motherhood in another culture', 'Feeling left out of the mother's place along the bands of Nap tai tradition', 'My image is like not-being able to stand alone/be independent' and 'Finding hope in motherhood despite of conflicts and stigmas'.
Vietnamese married immigrant women experienced not only the negative aspects but also sublimation of maternal conflicts. Based on the results, health professionals need to develop effective nursing interventions toward a positive maternal identity and approach with interculturalism for the Vietnamese married immigrant women in Korea.
Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing 12/2014; 44(6):617-29. DOI:10.4040/jkan.2014.44.6.617 · 0.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
The purpose of our study was to investigate the effects of hippotherapy on gross motor function and functional performance in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP).
Materials and Methods
We recruited 34 children (M:F=15:19, age: 3-12 years) with spastic CP who underwent hippotherapy for 45 minutes twice a week for 8 weeks. Twenty-one children with spastic CP were recruited for control group. The distribution of gross motor function classification system level and mean age were not significantly different between the two groups. Outcome measures, including the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM)-66, GMFM-88 and the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory: Functional Skills Scale (PEDI-FSS), were assessed before therapy and after the 8-weeks intervention as outcome measures.
There were no significant differences between intervention and control groups in mean baseline total scores of GMFM-66, GMFM-88 or PEDI-FSS. After the 8-weeks intervention, mean GMFM-66 and GMFM-88 scores were significantly improved in both groups. However, the hippotherapy group had significantly greater improvement in dimension E and GMFM-66 total score than the control group. The total PEDI-FSS score and the sub-scores of its 3 domains were significantly improved in the hippotherapy group, but not in the control group.
The results of our study demonstrate the beneficial effects of hippotherapy on gross motor function and functional performance in children with CP compared to control group. The significant improvement in PEDI-FSS scores suggests that hippotherapy may be useful to maximize the functional performance of children with CP.
Yonsei Medical Journal 11/2014; 55(6):1736-42. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.6.1736 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
This study used ultrasonography (US) to investigate the architectural changes in gastrocnemius muscles (GCM) after botulinum toxin injection (BoNT-A) in children with cerebral palsy (CP).
Materials and Methods
Thirteen children with CP who received a BoNT-A injection into their GCM to treat equinus were recruited (9 males and 4 females). Architectural changes in both the medial and lateral heads of the GCM from a total of 20 legs were assessed using B-mode, real-time US. Muscle thickness (MT), fascicle length (FL), and fascicle angle (FA) were measured over the middle of the muscle belly in both a resting and neutral ankle position. Measures at 1 and 3 months after the injection were compared with baseline data taken before the injection.
The mean age of the subjects was 5.8 (±1.6) years. Spasticity was significantly reduced when measured by both the modified Tardieu scale and the modified Ashworth scale at 1 and 3 months after injection (p<0.05). The MT and FA of both the medial and lateral heads of the GCM were significantly reduced for both neutral and resting ankle positions at 1 and 3 months after the injection. The FL of both the medial and lateral heads of the GCM were significantly increased in a resting position (p<0.05), but not in a neutral position.
Our results demonstrated muscle architectural changes induced by BoNT-A injection. The functional significances of these changes were discussed.
Yonsei Medical Journal 09/2014; 55(5):1406-12. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.5.1406 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Although the tibialis posterior is a potentially difficult muscle to locate for botulinum toxin injection because of its deep location, needle insertion is usually performed using anatomic landmarks for guidance. Accordingly, the ultrasonographic anatomy of the lower leg was investigated in hemiplegic children with spastic cerebral palsy to improve the safety and the accuracy of needle placement into the tibialis posterior. Design: Twenty-five subjects (2 yrs 2 mos to 5 yrs 11 mos; 12 boys, 13 girls; Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I-II) were recruited. B-mode, real-time ultrasonography was performed using a 5- to 12-MHz linear array transducer. During anterior and posterior approaches, safety window width (tibia to the neurovascular bundle) and depth (skin to the midpoint of the tibialis posterior) were measured at the upper third and at the midpoint of the tibia. Results: For the anterior approach, the safety window width at the upper third of the tibia (mean [SD], 0.63 [0.12] cm, range, 0.44-0.93 cm) was significantly larger than that at the midpoint (0.38 [0.09] cm, range from 0.22 to 0.59 cm, P < 0.05) of the affected leg. However, for the posterior approach, the safety window width at the midpoint (0.74 [0.23] cm, range from 0.21 to 1.18 cm) was significantly larger than that at the upper third of the tibia (0.48 [0.23] cm, range from 0.10 to 0.97 cm, P < 0.05) on the affected leg. Conclusions: Ultrasonographic guidance is a useful, safe, and accurate tool for needle insertion into the tibialis posterior. Considering the safety window width, this study suggests needle placement at the upper third point of the tibia for the anterior approach and at the midpoint for the posterior approach.
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists 08/2014; 93(10). DOI:10.1097/PHM.0000000000000170 · 2.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
This study aimed to investigate useful parameters for estimating gastrocnemius (GCM) muscle volume (MV) using ultrasonography (US) and anthropometry in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP).
Materials and Methods
Eighteen legs from nine children with spastic CP aged 2 to 6 years were investigated in this study. Tibial length (TL) of each leg was measured and muscle thickness (MT) and anatomical cross-sectional area (aCSA) of GCM muscles were assessed using US. The volume of the GCM was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The relationship of TL, MT, and aCSA with MV measured by MRI was investigated. Simple and multiple regression analyses were performed to establish muscle volume prediction equations.
Resting MT, aCSA, and TL were highly related to MV of both medial and lateral head of GCM determined by MRI. The MV prediction equation based on simple regression analysis resulted in r2 values ranging from 0.591 to 0.832 (p<0.05). The r2 values were higher using aCSA as independent variable than using MT. The MV prediction equation based on multiple regression analysis resulted in r2 values ranging from 0.779 to 0.903 (p<0.05). However, the relatively high standard error of the estimate values ranged from 18.0-33.6% on simple regression and 15.5-25.6% on multiple regression. The contribution of aCSA was higher than that of MT for predicting MV of GCM.
Our study demonstrated the suitability of US assessment of aCSA and MT combined with TL for estimating MV of GCM in children with spastic CP and showed that aCSA is more useful parameter than MT.
Yonsei Medical Journal 07/2014; 55(4):1115-22. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.4.1115 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
To investigate the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on reducing dystonia and disability in adults with cerebral palsy (CP) and to compare the therapeutic outcomes between primary dystonia patients and CP patients over two years after bilateral pallidal DBS.
Five patients with primary dystonia and seven CP patients with dystonia were recruited. All subjects received DBS surgery in both globus pallidus. Burke-Fahn-Marsden dystonia rating scale consisting of dystonia movement score and disability score and subjective satisfaction scale were assessed after 1 month and every 6 months over two years following DBS treatment.
On the dystonia movement scale, both groups of primary dystonia patients and CP patients showed a significant decrease over time following DBS. On the disability scale, patients with primary dystonia showed a significant decrease over time, whereas the disability score of CP patients did not change over the two years. Comparing the dystonia movement and disability scores of CP patients at each assessment, patients with primary dystonia showed a significant reduction after 6 months. Comparing the satisfaction scores of CP patients after DBS, patients with primary dystonia showed significantly higher subjective satisfaction.
Whereas dystonia can be significantly reduced in patients with primary dystonia, CP patients showed a modest improvement on the dystonia movement scale, but not on the disability scale. Therefore, DBS may be considered with caution as a treatment modality of CP patients with dystonia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Callosal anomalies are frequently associated with other central nervous system (CNS) and/or somatic anomalies. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical features of corpus callosal agenesis/hypoplasia accompanying other CNS and/or somatic anomalies. We reviewed the imaging and clinical information of patients who underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging in our hospital, between 2005 and 2012. Callosal anomalies were isolated in 13 patients, accompanied by other CNS anomalies in 10 patients, associated with only non-CNS somatic anomalies in four patients, and with both CNS and non-CNS abnormalities in four patients. Out of 31 patients, four developed normally, without impairments in motor or cognitive functions. Five of nine patients with cerebral palsy were accompanied by other CNS and/or somatic anomalies, and showed worse Gross Motor Function Classification System scores, compared with the other four patients with isolated callosal anomaly. In addition, patients with other CNS anomalies also had a higher seizure risk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
Hip adductor spasticity has a great impact on developing hip displacement in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Obturator nerve (ON) block is less invasive intervention rather than soft tissue surgery for reduction of hip adductor spasticity. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of ON block on hip lateralization in low functioning children with spastic CP.
Materials and Methods
The study was performed by retrospective investigation of the clinical and radiographic follow-up data of low functioning children [gross motor function classification system (GMFCS) level III to V] with spastic cerebral palsy whose hip was subluxated. Migration percentage (MP) was measured on hip radiographs and its annual change was calculated. In intervention group, ON block was done with 50% ethyl alcohol under the guidance of electrical stimulation.
The data of 49 legs of 25 children for intervention group and the data of 41 legs of 23 children for nonintervention group were collected. In intervention group, the MP were significantly reduced at 1st follow-up and the MPs at 2nd and last follow-up did not show significant differences from initial MP. Whereas in nonintervention group, the MPs at 1st, 2nd and last follow-up were all significantly increased compared to initial MPs.
ON block with ethyl alcohol is useful as an early effective procedure against progressive hip displacement in these children with spastic CP.
Yonsei medical journal 01/2014; 55(1):191-6. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.1.191 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-A receptor-mediated neural transmission is important to promote practice-dependent plasticity after brain injury. This study investigated alterations in GABA-A receptor binding and functional and anatomic connectivity within the motor cortex in children with cerebral palsy (CP). METHODS: We conducted (18)F-fluoroflumazenil PET on children with hemiplegic CP to investigate whether in vivo GABA-A receptor binding is altered in the ipsilateral or contralateral hemisphere of the lesion site. To evaluate changes in the GABA-A receptor subunit after prenatal brain injury, we performed GABA-A receptor immunohistochemistry using rat pups with a diffuse hypoxic ischemic insult. We also performed diffusion tensor MR imaging and resting-state functional MR imaging on the same children with hemiplegic CP to investigate alterations in anatomic and functional connectivity at the motor cortex with increased GABA-A receptor binding. RESULTS: In children with hemiplegic CP, the (18)F-fluoroflumazenil binding potential was increased within the ipsilateral motor cortex. GABA-A receptors with the α1 subunit were highly expressed exclusively within cortical layers III, IV, and VI of the motor cortex in rat pups. The motor cortex with increased GABA-A receptor binding in children with hemiplegic CP had reduced thalamocortical and corticocortical connectivity, which might be linked to increased GABA-A receptor distribution in cortical layers in rats. CONCLUSION: Increased expression of the GABA-A receptor α1 subunit within the ipsilateral motor cortex may be an important adaptive mechanism after prenatal brain injury in children with CP but may be associated with improper functional connectivity after birth and have adverse effects on the development of motor plasticity.
Journal of Nuclear Medicine 06/2013; 54(8). DOI:10.2967/jnumed.112.117358 · 5.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: . Housing animals in an enriched environment (EE) enhances behavioral function. However, the mechanism underlying this EE-mediated functional improvement and the resultant changes in gene expression have yet to be elucidated. OBJECTIVES: . We attempted to investigate the underlying mechanisms associated with long-term exposure to an EE by evaluating gene expression patterns. METHODS: . We housed 6-week-old CD-1 (ICR) mice in standard cages or an EE comprising a running wheel, novel objects, and social interaction for 2 months. Motor and cognitive performances were evaluated using the rotarod test and passive avoidance test, and gene expression profile was investigated in the cerebral hemispheres using microarray and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). RESULTS: . In behavioral assessment, an EE significantly enhanced rotarod performance and short-term working memory. Microarray analysis revealed that genes associated with neuronal activity were significantly altered by an EE. GSEA showed that genes involved in synaptic transmission and postsynaptic signal transduction were globally upregulated, whereas those associated with reuptake by presynaptic neurotransmitter transporters were downregulated. In particular, both microarray and GSEA demonstrated that EE exposure increased opioid signaling, acetylcholine release cycle, and postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors but decreased Na(+)/Cl(-)-dependent neurotransmitter transporters, including dopamine transporter Slc6a3 in the brain. Western blotting confirmed that SLC6A3, DARPP32 (PPP1R1B), and P2RY12 were largely altered in a region-specific manner. CONCLUSION: . An EE enhanced motor and cognitive function through the alteration of synaptic activity-regulating genes, improving the efficient use of neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity by the upregulation of genes associated with postsynaptic receptor activity and downregulation of presynaptic reuptake by neurotransmitter transporters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several cases of acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) with influenza A (H1N1) have been reported to date. The prognosis of ANE associated with H1N1 is variable; some cases resulted in severe neurologic complication, whereas other cases were fatal. Reports mostly focused on the diagnosis of ANE with H1N1 infection, rather than functional recovery. We report a case of ANE with H1N1 infection in a 4-year-old Korean girl who rapidly developed fever, seizure, and altered mentality, as well as had neurologic sequelae of ataxia, intentional tremor, strabismus, and dysarthria. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed lesions in the bilateral thalami, pons, and left basal ganglia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ANE caused by H1N1 infection and its long-term functional recovery in Korea.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isodicentric chromosome 15 [idic(15)] is a rare chromosomal abnormality that occurs due to inverted duplication of chromosome 15q. It is associated with many clinical findings such as early central hypotonia, developmental delay, cognitive dysfunction, autism spectrum disorders, and seizure. Delayed development is a common problem referred to pediatric rehabilitation clinics. A 9-month-old boy with delayed development was referred to our clinic for assessment and treatment. On chromosomal analysis, he was diagnosed as idic(15) syndrome with 47,XY,+idic(15)(q12) on karyotyping. Herein we describe his clinical manifestations and provide a brief review of the related literature.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
The objective of this study was to describe hand function in relation with gross motor function and subtype of spastic cerebral palsy and to investigate the relationships among gross motor function, bimanual performance, unimanual capacity and upper limb functional measures in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP).
Materials and Methods
We collected upper extremity data of 140 children with spastic CP. The Gross Motor Functional Classification System (GMFCS) was used to assess gross motor function, Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) for bimanual performance, and Modified House Functional Classification (MHC) for the best capacity of each hand. Upper limb functions were evaluated by using the Upper Limb Physician's Rating Scale and Upper Extremity Rating Scale.
There was a good correlation between GMFCS and MACS in children with bilateral CP, but the correlation was not strong in children with unilateral CP. No significant difference between GMFCS and MACS was found in children with bilateral CP, but children with unilateral CP scored higher on GMFCS than on MACS. A strong correlation was observed between MACS and MHC in children with bilateral CP, but not in children with unilateral CP. The upper limb functional measures in each hand were highly related with MACS and MHC in bilateral CP, but not in unilateral CP.
Gross motor function, bimanual performance and the best capacity of each hand are closely related with each other in children with bilateral CP, but not in children with unilateral CP.
Yonsei medical journal 03/2013; 54(2):516-22. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2013.54.2.516 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) on the function of transplanted adipose stem cells (ASCs) and the combined effect of EE and ASC transplantation on neurobehavioral function in an animal model of chronic hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury. HI brain damage was induced in 7-day-old mice by unilateral carotid artery ligation and exposure to hypoxia (8% O₂ for 90 min). At 6 weeks of age, the mice were randomly injected with either ASCs or PBS into the striatum and were randomly assigned to either EE or standard cages (SC), comprising ASC-EE (n=18), ASCSC (n=19), PBS-EE (n=12), PBS-SC (n=17), and untreated controls (n=23). Rotarod, forelimb-use asymmetry, and grip strength tests were performed to evaluate neurobehavioral function. The fate of transplanted cells and the levels of endogenous neurogenesis, astrocyte activation and paracrine factors were also measured. As a result, EE and ASC transplantation synergistically improved rotarod latency, forelimb-use asymmetry, and grip strength compared to those of the other groups. The number of engrafted ASCs and βIII-tubulin⁺ neurons derived from the transplanted ASCs were significantly higher in mice in EE than those in SC. EE and ASC transplantation also synergistically increasedBrdU⁺βIII-tubulin⁺ neurons, GFAP⁺ astrocytic density and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) level but not the level of CS-56⁺ glial scarring in the striatum. In conclusion, EE and ASC transplantation synergistically improved neurobehavioral functions. The underlying mechanisms of this synergism included enhanced repair processes such as higher engraftment of the transplanted ASCs, increased endogenous neurogenesis and astrocytic activation coupled with upregulation of FGF2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Several experimental studies in stroke patients suggest that mirror therapy and various virtual reality programs facilitate motor rehabilitation. However, the underlying mechanisms for these therapeutic effects have not been previously described.Objectives
We attempted to delineate the changes in corticospinal excitability when individuals were asked to exercise their upper extremity using a real mirror and virtual mirror. Moreover, we attempted to delineate the role of visual modulation within the virtual environment that affected corticospinal excitability in healthy subjects and stroke patients. METHODS: A total of 18 healthy subjects and 18 hemiplegic patients were enrolled into the study. Motor evoked potential(MEP)s from transcranial magnetic stimulation were recorded in the flexor carpi radialis of the non-dominant or affected upper extremity using three different conditions: (A) relaxation; (B) real mirror; and (C) virtual mirror. Moreover, we compared the MEPs from the virtual mirror paradigm using continuous visual feedback or intermittent visual feedback. RESULTS: The rates of amplitude increment and latency decrement of MEPs in both groups were higher during the virtual mirror task than during the real mirror. In healthy subjects and stroke patients, the virtual mirror task with intermittent visual feedback significantly facilitated corticospinal excitability of MEPs compared with continuous visual feedback. CONCLUSION: Corticospinal excitability was facilitated to a greater extent in the virtual mirror paradigm than in the real mirror and in intermittent visual feedback than in the continuous visual feedback, in both groups. This provides neurophysiological evidence supporting the application of the virtual mirror paradigm using various visual modulation technologies to upper extremity rehabilitation in stroke patients.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 10/2012; 9(1):71. DOI:10.1186/1743-0003-9-71 · 2.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In writing, linguistic (i.e., spelling) and nonlinguistic (i.e., arranging strokes or letters) functions are processed by the left and right hemispheres, respectively. The configuration of Korean alphabet, 'Hangul' invokes nonlinguistic, visuospatial functions that other writing systems use less extensively. Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have bilateral involvement of temporoparietal-frontal areas that are responsible for processing language and visuospatial functions.
The aim of this study was to examine the nature of Hangul writing dysfunction, which may be associated with bilateral hemispheric impairments in AD.
A sample of 75 patients with AD and 20 healthy controls (HC) performed a Hangul writing task. Neuroimaging positron emission tomography (PET) data of 22 patients were utilized to measure the regional brain glucose metabolism associated with Hangul writing.
The writing performance of the AD group was significantly reduced and different types of errors were observed as the disease got worse. Glucose hypometabolism correlated with Hangul writing impairment was located in the right occipitotemporal lobe and left temporoparietal lobe.
The PET findings demonstrate that impairment in Hangul writing performance in Korean AD patients is closely related to a functional decline in both the right and left hemispheres. The study provides a unique contribution to the knowledge of dysgraphia in a non-alphabetical writing system as well as the underlying neuropathology of dysgraphic features in such languages.
Journal of the neurological sciences 07/2012; 320(1-2):72-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2012.06.020 · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to clarify the intramuscular branching patterns and arborizing area of hip adductor muscles with reference to surface landmarks on the thigh and to thus suggest effective and safe injection points for botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT).
Ten gracilis and 10 adductor longus specimens were subjected to Sihler staining to reveal intramuscular nerve arborization patterns, and findings were matched with and referred to surface landmarks. Using these results, we determined the optimal location for BoNT injection in hip adductors in relation to the long axis of the femur.
The corrected, most dense areas of innervation in adductor longus and gracilis were typically 30-50% and 40-50% from the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) along the vertical line of the femur, respectively.
The most effective and safest point for BoNT injection into adductor muscles appears to be between 35% and 50% from ASIS, where neuromuscular junctions are most densely distributed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resonance problems in hearing impaired (HI) individuals have been described as aspects of nasality. However, there are limitations in being able to explain the range of resonance problems. Therefore, this study suggests a perceptual rating that will effectively explain the characteristics of resonance problems in HI individuals.
Nasalance scores were obtained from 32 subjects in each of HI and normal hearing (NH) groups using a nasometer. The subjects were categorized into groups based on normal and abnormal nasalance ranges. The abnormal nasalance range group was further divided into hyper-, hypo-, and mixed-nasal groups. Nasalance scores were based the individuals performance in a series of passage and syllable tasks. The perceptual rating was evaluated using a newly introduced tool, 'vertical focus of resonance' (VFR), which focuses on the resonance energy in the frontal, throat, pharyngeal and nasal locations.
The NH group demonstrated a significantly lower nasalance score in the oral coupling and passage tasks than the HI group. Based on the results of nasalance correlation analysis, the HI group showed highly significant correlations between syllable and passage tasks, as contrasted with the NH group. There were significant differences in VFR between the nasalance types in both the NH and the HI groups.
The HI hyper-nasal group showed tendencies of velopharyngeal opening, as opposed to the HI hypo-nasal group which showed tendencies of velopharyngeal closure. The HI mixed-nasal group showed inappropriate coordination of velopharyngeal function. In the HI group, the results of VFR showed that the air flow and the resonance energy were not released from the cavity of resonance. The suggested VFR tool explains the focusing characteristics of resonance energy within a continuation of speech sound regardless of the phonetic environment. Therefore, VFR may be a useful tool in explaining the deviant resonance patterns of HI individuals.