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Center for Motor Behavior & Pediatric Disabilities

Children and Adults with Down Syndrome Needed for the Following Study:

Understanding and Modeling the Gait Patterns of Individuals with Down Syndrome: Adults, 35-55 years old:

Background
Little research has been conducted examining the walking patterns of children and adults with Down syndrome. But we do know that children with Down syndrome walk later, walk and run slower than typically developing children, have poorer balance control, and tend to have orthopedic problems (e.g. flat feet and arthritic painful joints) with age. Our project will improve the body of knowledge regarding the quality of walking patterns, the efficiency of walking patterns, and improve our understanding of how gait is regulated in children and adults with and without Down syndrome. We believe that improved knowledge in these areas may assist in planning effective intervention for infants, children, and adults with Down syndrome.

Participation
You and the participant will come into the motor development lab on two-three separate occasions. The sessions will last approximately 1 hours each.
There is a small risk that the participant may fall while walking on the treadmill. The participant may experience minimal fatigue while walking on the treadmill.
The participant will have the opportunity to explore his/her capabilities walking in a new environment. You will have the satisfaction of contributing to the study of motor development. Currently there is little information on the quality, efficiency and regulation of walking patterns in children and adults with Down syndrome. This information may assist in planning effective intervention for infants, children, and adults with Down syndrome.

Data Collection
The purpose of Day One is to help you and the participant become acquainted with the motor development laboratory. We will explain the purpose of the study and the procedures involved. We will escort the participant to a changing area, where he/she will change into shorts, a tank top, and remove shoes and socks. A heart rate monitor will be placed around the participant's chest. Heart rate will be recorded while the participant is resting and then throughout the session. We will place small reflective markers on both sides of his/her head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, trunk, pelvis, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Six small sensors will be placed on the front and back of the thigh and lower leg and on the participant's stomach and back. Three high speed cameras will be positioned on each side of the participant in order to collect movement data. We will also videotape the session. The participant will be asked to walk along a 5 meter walkway at a comfortable speed, so that we can determine how fast the participant usually walks. The participant will then be taught how to walk on a treadmill at a similar comfortable speed. First he/she will step onto the treadmill frame straddling the belt (belt stationary) and hold onto a secure bar located at the front of the treadmill. We will turn on the treadmill at a low speed and the participant will step onto it. The speed will gradually be increased to his/her comfortable speed. The participant may step off or have the treadmill stopped at any time. The participant will walk for a total of 30 minutes on the treadmill on Day One. Following the walking trials, we will take the body measurements of the participant.
The purpose of Day Two is to collect movement data as the participant walks across the walkway and walks on the treadmill at five different walking speeds. We will escort him/her to a changing area, where he/she will change into shorts, a tank top, and remove shoes and socks. Reflective markers and a heart rate monitor will be placed on the participant as we did on the first day you came into the lab. The participant will then walk across the walkway. We will spend time reacquainting him/her with the treadmill as needed and stay close to the participant while he/she is on the treadmill. We will collect movement data of the participant walking on the treadmill at five walking speeds; very slow, slow, self-selected, fast and very fast for a total of 15 minutes. The participant may step off or have us stop the treadmill at any time. Three high speed cameras will be positioned on each side of the participant in order to collect movement data. We will also videotape the session. Depending on the amount and quality of data collected on Day 2, a third day of data collection may be needed.

 

Preadolescents:

Background
Our goal is to validate the effectiveness of the mathematical model used in our study entitled "Gait Patterns of Children with and without Down Syndrome". We will conduct this verification study to compare the model's method for estimating stiffness and forcing to measures developed by other researchers and therapists, and test the goodness-of-fit of our model. This will enable us to be more certain that our interpretation of our results are sound. We believe improved knowledge in these areas may assist in planning effective therapy programs for individuals with Down syndrome.

Participation
You and your child will come into the motor development lab on six separate occasions. The six sessions will last approximately 1 -2 hours each.
There is a small risk that your child may fall while walking on the treadmill.
Your child may experience minimal fatigue while walking on the treadmill.

Data Collection
The purpose of visit one is to help you and your child become acquainted with the motor development laboratory and to collect baseline measurements. We will explain the purpose of the study and the procedures involved. We will escort your child to a changing area, where he/she will change into a bathing suit. A heart rate monitor will be placed around your child's chest. Heart rate will be recorded while your child is resting and then throughout the session. We will place small reflective markers on both sides of your child's head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, trunk, pelvis, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. In addition he/she will wear a belt that is connected to four surface electrodes placed on the right leg and thigh. Over ground walking will be similar to walking on a sidewalk. We will have your child walk over a wooden walkway with ramps at either end. Embedded in the center of the ramp will be our force platform to examine forces during walking. We will also have your child walk across a mat that records his foot steps and is flat on the ground. We will ask your child to repeat these trials walking "very slowly" and "very fast." We will show the treadmill to your child and we will demonstrate what we will want him to do on later visits, but he /she will not be walking on the treadmill today. We will measure your child's balance asking him/her to perform 8 tasks that measure balance. We will then obtain body measurements of your child.
On visit two we will again have your child change into a bathing suit. We will then apply markers and electrodes and heart monitor. We will have him/her walk across the mat and force plate as during visit 1. Three high-speed cameras will be positioned on each side of your child in order to collect movement data. We will also videotape the session. Your child will be given at least 5 practice trials before data collection begins. We will collect 3 test trials in which your child walked across the mat at a steady rate and landed with one foot cleanly placed on the force platform. Subsequently, we will ask your child to repeat these trials walking "very slowly" and "very fast." We will collect 3 trials at each of these self-selected speeds. The treadmill pre-test will be as follows:
1. standing on the treadmill holding onto railing with both hands
2. treadmill is turned on to 40% of their comfortable walking speed
3. walk for 15 seconds while holding on with both hands
4. let go with one hand as we tell them to do so and walk for 10 seconds
5. let go with the other hand and walk for 20 seconds
6. put both their hands back on the rail and we stop the treadmill
We will repeat the above sequence at 75% and 110% of their comfortable over ground speed. We will collect from one to four trials at each speed. Your child may step off or have the treadmill stopped at any time.
After this data collection is complete, we will remove the markers and electrodes and have your child change into his/her regular, comfortable clothes, but remain barefoot. At this time we will have him/her complete 6 sessions of treadmill practice as outlined above.
On visits 3, 4, and 5 your child will remain clothed in his/her own comfortable "street" clothing, but go barefoot while he/she practices on the treadmill as before. He/She will not have to have markers or electrodes attached.
Visit 6 is the same as visit 2.

If you would like to learn more about participating in one of our studies, please call us at (734) 615-1494 or email us at csdren@umich.edu. When calling, please request Cheryl Drenning and reference the Down syndrome modeling study.

All To Participate  

Center for Motor Behavior & Pediatric Disabilities
401 Washtenaw Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2214
(734)936-2607, Fax (734)936-1925
cmbpd@umich.edu

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Copyright © 1999 The Regents of the University of Michigan
Created September 1, 1999