Fingertip Forces During Object Manipulation in Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy. II: Bilateral Coordination

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The present study examines the coordination of fingertip forces during object manipulation in both the involved and non‐involved hand of 14 children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (CP) aged between 8 and 14 years. While no impairment could be observed in the non‐involved hand, subtle deficits in the sequencing of the grip–lift movement were observed in all children tested in this hand. However, they were able to scale the fingertip force output of the non‐involved hand in advance (use anticipatory control) based on the object's weight. In the second experiment in this paper, we tested whether the anticipatory control can be generalized across hands. The results indicate that sensory information from the non‐involved hand can be used for anticipatory scaling of isometric force increase during subsequent lifts with the contralateral involved hand. These findings suggest that the initial lack of anticipatory control usually observed in the involved hand of children with hemiplegic CP is likely to be based on disturbed sensory input.


This article was originally published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, volume 41, issue 3, in 1999. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1999.tb00577.x

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