Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treadmills Help Babies With Down Syndrome Learn To Walk Faster And Better, According To Kinesiology Researchers

Date:
November 5, 2001
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
Babies with Down Syndrome can learn to walk earlier and better through regular exercise on a slow treadmill, according to research headed by Dale Ulrich, director of the Center for Motor Behavior in Down Syndrome at the University of Michigan Division of Kinesiology.

ANN ARBOR --- Babies with Down Syndrome can learn to walk earlier and better through regular exercise on a slow treadmill, according to research headed by Dale Ulrich, director of the Center for Motor Behavior in Down Syndrome at the University of Michigan Division of Kinesiology.

The research is to be published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics (http://www.pediatrics.org/), the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ulrich said practicing with a parent eight minutes a day, five days a week, on a slow treadmill resulted in children beginning to walk three and a half months sooner than those with Down Syndrome who did not receive the treadmill exercise therapy.

Typically, babies with Down Syndrome walk about one year later than their normally developing peers. This delay affects not only a child's independence but also other developmental milestones.

Once a child can move on his own, Ulrich explained, he can begin to learn about his environment. If he remains stationary, he gets less input and the gap between his motor development and that of his peers grows. Also, once a child begins walking, there is a reduction in stress felt by parents, particularly the mother, Ulrich added.

Treadmill practice helps children develop leg strength and postural control, both of which are needed to walk, Ulrich said. It also demonstrates the necessary alternating leg motions used when they will eventually walk on their own.

Ulrich said he hopes the study will encourage pediatricians and parents to work with children with Down Syndrome to learn to walk. Many care-givers are reluctant to encourage walking skills until a child masters crawling, but in a child with Down Syndrome, he believes it is important to work on walking as early as possible.

In addition, children with Down Syndrome tend to be less physically active and have slower metabolic rates, meaning they will likely enter school carrying excess body weight. Improving walking skills might help counter that problem, Ulrich said.

Researchers involved in this study were Ulrich, associate professor of kinesiology; Beverly Ulrich, professor of kinesiology and dean of the division; Rosa M. Angulo-Kinzler, assistant professor of kinesiology; and Joonkoo Yun, a kinesiology graduate student at the time of the work. The work was supported by grants from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research to Dale and Beverly Ulrich for $370,000, and from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation to Dale Ulrich for $88,000.

Dale Ulrich, Angulo-Kinzler and Rita Ayyangar, research fellow with physical medicine and rehabilitation at U-M, also recently received a four-year, $670,000 grant from the U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services to improve the treadmill procedures. The goal is to have a more dramatic effect on the age when Down Syndrome children begin walking and on improving their walking gait.

The new grant will allow Ulrich and Angulo-Kinzler to extend their treadmill work to infants with cerebral palsy. They are optimistic that the results could provide pediatricians with information needed to make an earlier diagnosis and to begin treatment.

###

For more information on the Center for Motor Behavior in Down Syndrome, visit http://www.umich.edu/%7Ecmbds/

To learn about the U-M Division of Kinesiology: http://www.umich.edu/~divkines/kinweb/

For information about Down Syndrome, visit the National Down Syndrome Society Web site: http://www.ndss.org

U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/

National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/NIDRR/

March of Dimes: http://www.modimes.org/home.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Treadmills Help Babies With Down Syndrome Learn To Walk Faster And Better, According To Kinesiology Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011105072819.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (2001, November 5). Treadmills Help Babies With Down Syndrome Learn To Walk Faster And Better, According To Kinesiology Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011105072819.htm
University Of Michigan. "Treadmills Help Babies With Down Syndrome Learn To Walk Faster And Better, According To Kinesiology Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011105072819.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins