Gait function in high-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder : evidence for basal-ganglia and cerebellar involvement?

Rinehart, Nicole J., Tonge, Bruce J., Bradshaw, John L., Iansek, Robert, Enticott, Peter G. and McGinley, Jenny 2006, Gait function in high-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder : evidence for basal-ganglia and cerebellar involvement?, European child & adolescent psychiatry, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 256-264, doi: 10.1007/s00787-006-0530-y.

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Title Gait function in high-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder : evidence for basal-ganglia and cerebellar involvement?
Author(s) Rinehart, Nicole J.ORCID iD for Rinehart, Nicole J.
Tonge, Bruce J.
Bradshaw, John L.
Iansek, Robert
Enticott, Peter G.ORCID iD for Enticott, Peter G.
McGinley, Jenny
Journal name European child & adolescent psychiatry
Volume number 15
Issue number 5
Start page 256
End page 264
Total pages 9
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2006-08
ISSN 1018-8827
Keyword(s) Asperger Syndrome
Autistic Disorder
Basal Ganglia
Corpus Striatum
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Frontal Lobe
Movement Disorders
Severity of Illness Index
Videotape Recording
Summary Gait abnormalities have been widely reported in individuals with autism and Asperger's disorder. There is controversy as to whether the cerebellum or the basal-ganglia frontostriatal regions underpin these abnormalities. This is the first direct comparison of gait and upper-body postural features in autism and Asperger's disorder. Clinical and control groups were matched according to age, height, weight, performance, and full scale IQ. Consistent with Hallet's (1993) cerebellar-gait hypothesis, the autistic group showed significantly increased stride-length variability in their gait in comparison to control and Asperger's disorder participants. No quantitative gait deficits were found for the Asperger's disorder group. In support of Damasio and Maurer's (1982) basal-ganglia frontostriatal-gait hypothesis, both clinical groups were rated as showing abnormal arm posturing, however, only the Asperger's group were rated as significantly different from controls in terms of head and trunk posturing. While DSM-IV-TR suggests that Asperger's disorder, but not autism, is associated with motoric clumsiness, our data suggest that both clinical groups are uncoordinated and lacking in motor smoothness. Gait differences in autism and Asperger's disorder were suggested to reflect differential involvement of the cerebellum, with commonalities reflecting similar involvement of the basal-ganglia frontostriatal region.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00787-006-0530-y
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
1103 Clinical Sciences
1701 Psychology
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, Steinkopff Verlag
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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