[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To study the effect of vaccination-associated seizure onset on disease course and estimate the risk of subsequent seizures after infant pertussis combination and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccinations in Dravet syndrome (DS).
We retrospectively analyzed data from hospital medical files, child health clinics, and the vaccination register for children with DS and pathogenic SCN1A mutations. Seizures within 24 hours after infant whole-cell, acellular, or nonpertussis combination vaccination or within 5 to 12 days after MMR vaccination were defined as "vaccination-associated." Risks of vaccination-associated seizures for the different vaccines were analyzed in univariable and in multivariable logistic regression for pertussis combination vaccines and by a self-controlled case series analysis using parental seizure registries for MMR vaccines. Disease courses of children with and without vaccination-associated seizure onset were compared.
Children who had DS (n = 77) with and without vaccination-associated seizure onset (21% and 79%, respectively) differed in age at first seizure (median 3.7 vs 6.1 months, p < 0.001) but not in age at first nonvaccination-associated seizure, age at first report of developmental delay, or cognitive outcome. The risk of subsequent vaccination-associated seizures was significantly lower for acellular pertussis (9%; odds ratio 0.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05-0.71) and nonpertussis (8%; odds ratio 0.11, 95% CI 0.02-0.59) than whole-cell pertussis (37%; reference) vaccines. Self-controlled case series analysis showed an increased incidence rate ratio of seizures of 2.3 (95% CI 1.5-3.4) within the risk period of 5 to 12 days following MMR vaccination.
Our results suggest that vaccination-associated earlier seizure onset does not alter disease course in DS, while the risk of subsequent vaccination-associated seizures is probably vaccine-specific.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Children with severe cerebral palsy (CP) (i.e. ‘non-speaking children with severely limited mobility’) are restricted in many domains that are important to the acquisition of language.AimsTo investigate comprehension of spoken language on sentence type level in non-speaking children with severe CP.Methods & ProceduresFrom an original sample of 87 non-speaking children with severe CP, 68 passed the pre-test (i.e. they matched at least five spoken words to the corresponding objects) of a specifically developed computer-based instrument for low motor language testing (C-BiLLT), admitting them to the actual C-BiLLT computer test. As a result, the present study included 68 children with severe CP (35 boys, 33 girls; mean age 6;11 years, SD 3;0 years; age range 1;9–11;11 years) who were investigated with the C-BiLLT for comprehension of different sentence types: phrases, simple active sentences (with one or two arguments) and compound sentences. The C-BiLLT provides norm data of typically developing (TD) children (1;6–6;6 years). Binomial logistic regression analyses were used to compare the percentage correct of each sentence type in children with severe CP with that in TD children (subdivided into age groups) and to compare percentage correct within the CP subtypes.Outcomes & ResultsSentence comprehension in non-speaking children with severe CP followed the developmental trajectory of TD children, but at a much slower rate; nevertheless, they were still developing up to at least age 12 years. Delays in sentence type comprehension increased with sentence complexity and showed a large variability between individual children and between subtypes of CP. Comprehension of simple and syntactically more complex sentences were significantly better in children with dyskinetic CP than in children with spastic CP. Of the children with dyskinetic CP, 10–13% showed comprehension of simple and compound sentences within the percentage correct of TD children, as opposed to none of the children with spastic CP.Conclusion & ImplicationsIn non-speaking children with severe CP sentence comprehension is delayed rather than deviant. Results indicate the importance of following comprehension skills across all age groups, even beyond age 12 years. Moreover, the subtype of CP should be considered when establishing an educational programme for sentence comprehension, and augmentative and alternative communication support. In addition, educational programmes for children with severe CP should take into account the linguistic hierarchy of sentence comprehension when focusing on the input and understanding of spoken language comprehension.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 02/2015; 50(4). DOI:10.1111/1460-6984.12151 · 1.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neonatal convulsions are clinical manifestations in a heterogeneous group of disorders with different etiology and outcome. They are attributed to several genetic causes.
We describe a patient with intractable neonatal seizures who died from respiratory compromise during a status epilepticus.
This case report provides electroencephalogram (EEG), MRI, genetic analysis, and neuropathological data. Genetic analysis revealed a de novo heterozygous missense mutation in the KCNQ2 gene, which encodes a subunit of a voltage-gated potassium channel. KCNQ2 gene mutation is associated with intractable neonatal seizures. EEG, MRI, data as well as mutation analysis have been described in other KCNQ2 cases. Post-mortem neuropathological investigation revealed mild malformation of cortical development with increased heterotopic neurons in the deep white matter compared to an age-matched control subject. The new finding of this study is the combination of a KCNQ2 mutation and the cortical abnormalities.
KCNQ2 mutations should be considered in neonates with refractory epilepsy of unknown cause. The mild cortical malformation is an important new finding, though it remains unknown whether these cortical abnormalities are due to the KCNQ2 mutation or are secondary to the refractory seizures.
Frontiers in Pediatrics 12/2014; 2:136. DOI:10.3389/fped.2014.00136
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AimTo assess spoken language comprehension in non-speaking children with severe cerebral palsy (CP) and to explore possible associations with motor type and disability.Method
Eighty-seven non-speaking children (44 males, 43 females, mean age 6y 8mo, SD 2y 1mo) with spastic (54%) or dyskinetic (46%) CP (Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] levels IV [39%] and V [61%]) underwent spoken language comprehension assessment with the computer-based instrument for low motor language testing (C-BiLLT), a new and validated diagnostic instrument. A multiple linear regression model was used to investigate which variables explained the variation in C-BiLLT scores. Associations between spoken language comprehension abilities (expressed in z-score or age-equivalent score) and motor type of CP, GMFCS and Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) levels, gestational age, and epilepsy were analysed with Fisher's exact test. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.ResultsChronological age, motor type, and GMFCS classification explained 33% (R=0.577, R2=0.33) of the variance in spoken language comprehension. Of the children aged younger than 6 years 6 months, 52.4% of the children with dyskinetic CP attained comprehension scores within the average range (z-score ≥−1.6) as opposed to none of the children with spastic CP. Of the children aged older than 6 years 6 months, 32% of the children with dyskinetic CP reached the highest achievable age-equivalent score compared to 4% of the children with spastic CP. No significant difference in disability was found between CP-related variables (MACS levels, gestational age, epilepsy), with the exception of GMFCS which showed a significant difference in children aged younger than 6 years 6 months (p=0.043).InterpretationDespite communication disabilities in children with severe CP, particularly in dyskinetic CP, spoken language comprehension may show no or only moderate delay. These findings emphasize the importance of introducing alternative and/or augmentative communication devices from early childhood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In clinical practice, a variety of diagnostic tests are available to assess a child's comprehension of spoken language. However, none of these tests have been designed specifically for use with children who have severe motor impairments and who experience severe difficulty when using speech to communicate. This article describes the process of investigating the reliability and validity of the Computer-Based Instrument for Low Motor Language Testing (C-BiLLT), which was specifically developed to assess spoken Dutch language comprehension in children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs. The study included 806 children with typical development, and 87 nonspeaking children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs, and was designed to provide information on the psychometric qualities of the C-BiLLT. The potential utility of the C-BiLLT as a measure of spoken Dutch language comprehension abilities for children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs is discussed.
Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md.: 1985) 06/2014; 30(3):1-15. DOI:10.3109/07434618.2014.924992 · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Attention problems are among the most prominent behavioral deficits reported in very preterm children (below 32 wk of gestation) at school age. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the brain abnormalities underlying attention problems in very preterm children by investigating the role of abnormalities in white and gray brain matter during interference control, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-guided probabilistic diffusion tensor tractography.
Twenty-nine very preterm children (mean (SD) age: 8.6 (0.3) y), and 47 term controls (mean (SD) age: 8.7 (0.5) y), performed a fMRI version of the Eriksen Flanker task measuring interference control.
Very preterm children showed slower reaction times than term controls when interfering stimuli were presented, indicating poorer interference control. Very preterm children and term controls did not differ in mean activation of the cortical regions involved in interference control. However, impaired fractional anisotropy (FA) was found in very preterm children in specifically those fiber tracts that innervate the cortical regions involved in interference control. Lower FA was related to poorer interference control in very preterm children.
White matter alterations have a crucial role in the interference control problems of very preterm children at school age.
Pediatric Research 03/2014; 75(6). DOI:10.1038/pr.2014.31 · 2.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dystonic cerebral palsy is primarily caused by damage to the basal ganglia and central cortex. The daily care of these patients can be difficult due to dystonic movements. Intrathecal baclofen treatment is a potential treatment option for dystonia and has become common practice. Despite this widespread adoption, high quality evidence on the effects of intrathecal baclofen treatment on daily activities is lacking and prospective data are needed to judge the usefulness and indications for dystonic cerebral palsy. The primary aim of this study is to provide level one clinical evidence for the effects of intrathecal baclofen treatment on the level of activities and participation in dystonic cerebral palsy patients. Furthermore, we hope to identify clinical characteristics that will predict a beneficial effect of intrathecal baclofen in an individual patient.Methods/design: A double blind placebo-controlled multi-center randomized clinical trial will be performed in 30 children with dystonic cerebral palsy. Patients aged between 4 and 25 years old with a confirmed diagnosis of dystonic cerebral palsy, Gross Motor Functioning Classification System level IV or V, with lesions in the cerebral white matter, basal ganglia or central cortex and who are eligible for intrathecal baclofen treatment will be included. Group A will receive three months of continuous intrathecal baclofen treatment and group B will receive three months of placebo treatment, both via an implanted pump. After this three month period, all patients will receive intrathecal baclofen treatment, with a follow-up after nine months. The primary outcome measurement will be the effect on activities of and participation in daily life measured by Goal Attainment Scaling. Secondary outcome measurements on the level of body functions include dystonia, spasticity, pain, comfort and sleep-related breathing disorders. Side effects will be monitored and we will study whether patient characteristics influence outcome.
The results of this study will provide data for evidence-based use of intrathecal baclofen in dystonic cerebral palsy.Trial registration: Nederlands Trial Register: NTR3642.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Very preterm children (<32 weeks of gestation) are characterized by impaired white matter development as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA). This study investigates whether altered FA values underpin the widespread motor impairments and higher incidence of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) in very preterm children at school-age.
Thirty very preterm born children (mean (SD) age of 8.6 (0.3) years) and 47 term born controls (mean [SD] age 8.7 [0.5] years) participated. Motor development was measured using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children. A score below the 15th percentile was used as a research diagnosis of DCD. FA values, as measure of white matter abnormalities, were determined for 18 major white matter tracts, obtained using probabilistic diffusion tensor tractography.
Large-sized reductions in FA of the cingulum hippocampal tract right (d = 0.75, p = .003) and left (d = 0.76, p = .001), corticospinal tract right (d = 0.56, p = .02) and left (d = 0.65, p = .009), forceps major (d = 1.04, p < .001) and minor (d = 0.54, p = .02) were present in very preterms, in particular with a research diagnosis of DCD. Reduced FA values moderately to strongly related to motor impairments. A ROC curve for average FA, as calculated from tracts that significantly discriminated between very preterm children with and without a research diagnosis of DCD, showed an area under curve of 0.87 (95% CI 0.74-1.00, p = .001).
This study provides clear evidence that reduced FA values are strongly underpinning motor impairment and DCD in very preterm children at school-age. In addition, outcomes demonstrate that altered white matter FA values can potentially be used to discriminate between very preterm children at risk for motor impairments, although future studies are warranted.
European journal of paediatric neurology: EJPN: official journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society 10/2013; 18(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ejpn.2013.09.004 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Information regarding the selection procedure for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) is scarce. Therefore, the aim of this study was to summarize the selection criteria for SDR in children with spastic CP.
A systematic review was carried out using the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PEDro, and the Cochrane Library. Additional studies were identified in the reference lists. Search terms included 'selective dorsal rhizotomy', 'functional posterior rhizotomy', 'selective posterior rhizotomy', and 'cerebral palsy'. Studies were selected if they studied mainly children (<18y of age) with spastic CP, if they had an intervention of SDR, if they had a detailed description of the selection criteria, and if they were in English. The levels of evidence, conduct of studies, and selection criteria for SDR were scored.
Fifty-two studies were included. Selection criteria were reported in 16 International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model domains including 'body structure and function' (details concerning spasticity [94%], other movement abnormalities [62%], and strength [54%]), 'activity' (gross motor function [27%]), and 'personal and environmental factors' (age [44%], diagnosis [50%], motivation [31%], previous surgery [21%], and follow-up therapy [31%]). Most selection criteria were not based on standardized measurements.
Selection criteria for SDR vary considerably. Future studies should describe clearly the selection procedure. International meetings of experts should develop more uniform consensus guidelines, which could form the basis for selecting candidates for SDR.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intramuscular injection of botulinum toxin type-A given by manual intramuscular needle placement in the lower extremity under general anaesthesia is an established treatment and standard of care in managing spasticity in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Optimal needle placement is essential. However, reports of injection and verification techniques used in previous studies have been partly incomplete and there are methodological shortcomings. This paper describes a detailed protocol for manual intramuscular needle placement checked by passive stretching and relaxing of the target muscle for each individual muscle injection location in the lower extremity during botulinum toxin type-A treatment under general anaesthesia in children with spastic cerebral palsy. It explains the design of a study to verify this protocol, which consists of an injection technique combined with a needle localizing technique, as by means of electrical stimulation to determine its precision.
Setting: University Medical Centre, Department of Paediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, the Netherlands.
prospective observational study.Participants: children with spastic cerebral palsy, aged 4 to 18 years, receiving regular botulinum toxin type-A treatment under general anaesthesia to improve their mobility, are recruited from the Department of Paediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
a detailed protocol for manual intramuscular needle placement checked by passive stretching and relaxing of the target muscle has been developed for each individual muscle injection location of the adductor brevis muscle, adductor longus muscle, gracilis muscle, semimembranosus muscle, semitendinosus muscle, biceps femoris muscle, rectus femoris muscle, gastrocnemius lateralis muscle, gastrocnemius medialis muscle and soleus muscle. This protocol will be verified as by means of electrical stimulation.Technical details: 25 mm or 50 mm Stimuplex-needle and a Stimuplex-HNS-12 electrical stimulator will be used.
Botulinum toxin type-A injected in the intended muscle is expected to yield the greatest effect in terms of activities. Protocols for manual intramuscular needle placement should be described in detail and verified to determine its precision. Detailed and verified protocols are essential to be able to interpret the results of botulinum toxin type-A treatment studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the long-term effects of Continuous intrathecal Baclofen (CITB) therapy in non-ambulant children with intractable spastic Cerebral Palsy (CP).
To determine whether short-term beneficial effects of CITB therapy are present at the long-term, and whether caregivers would choose CITB therapy for their child again considering the advantages and disadvantages encountered over the years.
Long-term follow-up data were obtained of the children whom had previously participated in a RCT on CITB by the Dutch Study Group on Spasticity. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed by the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ), current satisfaction with CITB was measured by use of a Visual Analogue Scale regarding previously set treatment goals, functioning in daily living was determined by a questionnaire concerning functioning of the child, and possible detrimental effects of CITB therapy encountered over the years were noted. All data were acquired via interview of the caregivers.
All 17 children of the former trial participated in this study. Previously identified significant positive effects on pain (CHQ 46.8 vs. 74.38, p = 0.002; VAS 2.4 vs. 8.01, p = 0.02), ease of care (VAS 2.0 vs. 7.26, p = 0.00), and mental health (CHQ 67.2 vs. 75.94, p = 0.010) were still present at the end of the trial. Novel significant positive effects were noted at six to nine years follow-up, i.e. significantly improved scores on the Parent Impact - Emotional subscale (CHQ 66.0 vs. 78.2, p = 0.008), Parent Impact - Time subscale (CHQ 68.9 vs. 91.72, p = 0.002), and the Physical Summary (CHQ 17.6 vs. 27.4, p = 0.019) compared to baseline. Ninety-four percent of the caregivers would choose CITB treatment again for their child again.
The beneficial effects of CITB are present at the long term and caregiver satisfaction is high.
European journal of paediatric neurology: EJPN: official journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society 07/2013; 17(6). DOI:10.1016/j.ejpn.2013.06.003 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim:
The aim of the study was to assess cognitive outcome in children with periventricular haemorrhagic infarction (PVHI) or perinatal arterial ischaemic stroke (PAIS) and relate these findings to early developmental outcome and neonatal magnetic resonance imaging findings.
A neuropsychological assessment was performed in 50 children (26 males, 24 females) with unilateral PVHI (n=21) or PAIS (n=29) at a median age of 11 years 9 months (range 6-20y). This included tests for intelligence, verbal memory, visual-motor integration, word comprehension, attention, reaction times, and executive function. The Griffiths Mental Development Scale was used for early developmental assessment at 24 months (range 18-32mo).
In children with PVHI, both the early Griffiths scores (mean 87; 95% CI 83-92) and the Full-scale IQ (FSIQ) scores at school age (mean 86; 95% CI 78-94) were below the test mean of 100. In the PAIS group, early Griffiths scores were within the normal range (mean 98; 95% CI 93-104), but at school age FSIQ scores were below average (mean 87; 95% CI 80-94). In children with PVHI, FSIQ scores correlated with the level of maternal education and were lower after ventricular dilatation, whereas both involvement of the basal ganglia and thalami and development of postneonatal epilepsy were associated with lower cognitive outcome in children who had experienced PAIS.
Cognitive outcome after PVHI or PAIS is below average, but still within 1SD for most children. Prediction of cognitive outcome remains challenging, but some early predictors can be recognized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unilateral perinatal brain injury may result in recruitment of ipsilateral projections originating in the unaffected hemisphere and development of unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (USCP). The aim of this study was to assess the predictive value of neonatal neuroimaging following perinatal brain injury for recruitment of ipsilateral corticospinal tracts.
Neonatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cranial ultrasound scans of 37 children (20 males, 17 females; median [range] gestational age 36 wks+4 [26+6–42wks+5] and birthweight 2312 g ([770–5230g]) with unilateral perinatal arterial ischaemic stroke (n=23) or periventricular haemorrhagic infarction (n=14) were reviewed and scored for involvement of the corticospinal trajectory. Hand function was assessed using the Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was performed (age range 7y 4mo–18y and 7mo) to determine the type of cortical motor organization (normal, mixed or ipsilateral). Neuroimaging scores were used to predict TMS patterns.
Eighteen children developed USCP with ipsilateral corticospinal tract projections in 13 children (eight mixed, five ipsilateral). AHA scores decreased with increased ipsilateral projections. Asymmetry of the corticospinal tracts seen on neonatal MRI was predictive of development of USCP and recruitment of ipsilateral tracts (positive and negative predictive value of 73% and 91%).
Neonatal neuroimaging can predict recruitment of ipsilateral corticospinal tracts. Early knowledge of the expected pattern of cortical motor organization will allow early identification of children eligible for early therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with severe cerebral palsy (CP) often have poor speech ability but potentially better language comprehension. The arcuate fasciculus and the extreme capsule are two important language tracts between the Wernicke and Broca areas. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we visualized language tracts and pyramidal tracts in both hemispheres in 10 controls (5 to 18 years) and 5 patients (5 to 23 years) with severe CP. Language comprehension was assessed with a recently designed instrument (the Computer-Based instrument for Low motor Language Testing [C-BiLLT]). The language tracts were visualized in all control children and in four CP patients. In one CP patient without any objective language comprehension skills, no language tract could be visualized. Both language and pyramidal tracts were smaller in patients than in controls. These preliminary data indicate a relation between language tracts and language skills. Further research is necessary to study the value of structural integrity of language tracts in predicting language comprehension in CP patients.