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Clin Neurophysiol. 2010 Aug;121(8):1314-20. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2010.03.010. Epub 2010 Apr 2.

Developmental changes in somatosensory processing in cerebral palsy and healthy individuals.

Author information

1
Department of Nursing and Physiotherapy, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a motor disorder that causes physical disability in human development. Recent work has shown that somatosensory deficits are a serious problem for people with CP. There is however no information about the influence of age on brain correlates of tactile sensitivity.

METHODS:

Proprioception, touch and pain pressure thresholds, as well as somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) elicited by tactile stimulation in lips and thumbs were examined in 15 children with CP (range 5-14y), 14 adults with CP (range 22-55y), 15 healthy children (range 5-14y), and 15 healthy adults (range 22-42y).

RESULTS:

Children with CP as compared to healthy controls showed more reduced sensitivity for non-painful stimuli, but enhanced sensitivity for painful stimuli. Early SEP amplitudes (P50 and P100) were more enhanced in children and adults with CP than in healthy participants. A functional hemispheric asymmetry was observed in CP when left- and right-side body parts were stimulated.

CONCLUSIONS:

Data suggest the possibility that altered somatosensory brain processing in CP might be reflecting an enhanced excitability of the somatosensory cortex.

SIGNIFICANCE:

Assessment of somatosensory functions may have implications for future neuromodulatory treatment of pain complaints and motor rehabilitation programs in children and adults with cerebral palsy.

PMID:
20363181
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2010.03.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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