A neurological study of hand function of hemiplegic children

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1987 Jun;29(3):287-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1987.tb02482.x.


Twenty-five children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy between the ages of five and 15 years were examined in more detail, using a torque generator motor. A significant reduction in distal power, fatiguability and speed of movement was found on the hemiplegic side. Proximal power was relatively well preserved. Muscle tone, as would be expected, was significantly increased on the affected side and this was demonstrated by a significant rise in measured resonant frequency. Phasic spasticity in response to stretch was found on EMG to be much more common than phasic and tonic combined. Hand function correlated well with the loss of distal power and speed of movement. There was wide individual variation in the relationship between increased muscle tone and hand function. Thixotropy was normal in spastic muscles. Use of the unaffected hand had a marked effect on muscle tone and EMG of the affected side.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electromyography
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hand / physiopathology*
  • Hemiplegia / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Muscle Tonus
  • Muscles / physiopathology
  • Posture
  • Sensation
  • Tremor / physiopathology