Postural control in children, teenagers and adults with Down syndrome

Res Dev Disabil. 2011 Jan-Feb;32(1):170-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2010.09.007. Epub 2010 Oct 8.


The goal of this work was to analyze postural control in Down syndrome (DS) participants considering three different groups composed by children, teenagers and adults with DS. An analysis of the centre of pressure (COP) displacement during standing position was therefore performed for the three groups of subjects. The obtained signal of COP was then analyzed in both time and frequency domains in order to perform a thorough analysis of the signal. Even if several parameters revealed more differences between the control and DS participants in adulthood, results indicated a divergence of these two groups starting from their early age, although the limit of this study considering a cross-sectional, and not a longitudinal comparison. In particular, COP medio-lateral range of motion pointed out a decrease for both groups considered (pathological and control) in time domain analysis that could lead to the same conclusion in developing strategies, but frequency domain analysis evidenced how this result is reached by the different population: DS people showed a larger frequency of movement in ML more evidenced in adults group (Down Syndrome Adults Group vs. Adults Control Group; 0.35 ± 0.22 Hz vs. 0.17 ± 0.15 Hz; p < 0.05). Even if less pronounced also for the other parameters computed these differences emerged. Aims for the two macro-groups, DS and CG, are different: DS people focused on overcoming the lack of equilibrium caused by hypotonia and ligament laxity, while control group attempted to improve their strategy in term of efficiency, pointing out a different strategy development.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology
  • Child
  • Down Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Down Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Ligaments / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / epidemiology
  • Motor Skills Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Muscle Hypotonia / epidemiology
  • Muscle Hypotonia / physiopathology
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Young Adult