Gait function in newly diagnosed children with autism: cerebellar and basal ganglia related motor disorder

Rinehart, Nicole J., Tonge, Bruce J., Iansek, Robert, McGinley, Jenny, Brereton, Avril V., Enticott, Peter G. and Bradshaw, John L. 2006, Gait function in newly diagnosed children with autism: cerebellar and basal ganglia related motor disorder, Developmental medicine and child neurology, vol. 48, no. 10, pp. 819-824, doi: 10.1017/S0012162206001769.

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Title Gait function in newly diagnosed children with autism: cerebellar and basal ganglia related motor disorder
Author(s) Rinehart, Nicole J.ORCID iD for Rinehart, Nicole J.
Tonge, Bruce J.
Iansek, Robert
McGinley, Jenny
Brereton, Avril V.
Enticott, Peter G.ORCID iD for Enticott, Peter G.
Bradshaw, John L.
Journal name Developmental medicine and child neurology
Volume number 48
Issue number 10
Start page 819
End page 824
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2006-10
ISSN 0012-1622
Keyword(s) Adolescent
Autistic Disorder
Basal Ganglia
Case-Control Studies
Child, Preschool
Movement Disorders
Summary We investigated gait in newly diagnosed children with autism. From our previous study with 6- to 14-year-olds, we hypothesized that motor symptoms indicative of basal ganglia and cerebellar dysfunction would appear across the developmental trajectory of autism. Two groups were recruited: children with autism (eight males, three females; mean age 5 y 10 mo [SD 9 mo]; range 4 y 4 mo-6 y 9 mo) and a comparison group of typically developing children (eight males, three females; mean age 5 y 9 mo [SD 1 y 1 mo]; range 4 y 3 mo-7 y 2 mo). The GAITRite Walkway was used to gather data from average gait and intra-walk measurements. Experienced physiotherapists analyzed gait qualitatively. Groups were matched according to age, height, weight, and IQ; although not statistically significant, IQ was lower in the group with autism. Spatiotemporal gait data for children with autism were compatible with findings from patients with cerebellar ataxia: specifically, greater difficulty walking along a straight line, and the coexistence of variable stride length and duration. Children with autism were also less coordinated and rated as more variable and inconsistent (i.e. reduced smoothness) relative to the comparison group. Postural abnormalities in the head and trunk suggest additional involvement of the fronto-striatal basal ganglia region. Abnormal gait features are stable across key developmental periods and are, therefore, promising for use in clinical screening for autism.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S0012162206001769
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Wiley-Blackwell
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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