This cross-sectional observational study aimed to assess gait performance, its correlation with physical functions, and its dual-task costs in children with Down syndrome (DS), to investigate their gait adaptations.
Gait performance with or without movie-watching tasks was evaluated in 17 children with DS (age, 6–12 years) and 51 age- and sex-matched controls, using three-dimensional gait analysis. We compared participants’ demographics, physical functions, and gait performance without tasks between the two groups. In the DS group, correlations between physical functions, the intelligence quotient, and gait variables were assessed. Dual-task costs for gait variables were also compared between the two groups.
Children with DS showed poorer balance function and muscle strength and lower gait quality than the control group. In the DS group, there was a significant positive correlation between gait speed, step length, and intelligence quotient. There were no correlations between the balance function, muscle strength, intelligence quotient, and gait quality. Dual-task costs for gait speed, step length, and cadence were greater in the DS group; however, there was no significant difference in dual-task costs for gait quality between the two groups.
These findings highlight the importance of providing appropriate interventions for motor functions in school-aged children with DS based on their gait performance in single- and dual-task conditions, as well as on their intelligence quotient.
Abbreviations:DS (Down syndrome), FTSST (Five times sit-to-stand test), GDI (Gait deviation index), IQ (Intelligence quotient), SLST (Single-leg standing time), 3DGA (Three-dimensional gait analysis)
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Published online: November 21, 2022
Accepted: November 6, 2022
Received in revised form: October 31, 2022
Received: September 26, 2022
© 2022 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. All rights reserved.