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Effects of Intensity of Treadmill Training on Developmental Outcomes and Stepping in Infants With Down Syndrome: A Randomized Trial Dale A Ulrich, Meghann C Lloyd, Chad W Tiernan, Julia E Looper, Rosa M Angulo-Barroso Background and Purpose Infants with Down syndrome (DS) are consistently late walkers. The purpose of this investigation was to test the effects of individualized, progressively more intense treadmill training on developmental outcomes in infants with DS. Subjects Thirty infants born with DS were randomly assigned to receive lower-intensity, generalized treadmill training or higher-intensity, individualized training imple- mented by their parents in their homes. Methods Research staff members monitored implementation of training, physical growth, and onset of motor milestones of all infants on a monthly basis. Results Infants in the higher-intensity, individualized training group increased their stepping more dramatically over the course of training. Infants in the higher-intensity training group attained most of the motor milestones at an earlier mean age. Discussion and Conclusion Treadmill training of infants with DS is an excellent supplement to regularly sched- uled physical therapy intervention for the purpose of reducing the delay in the onset of walking. View a video clip related to this article at www.ptjournal.org DA Ulrich, PhD, is Professor, De- partment of Kinesiology, and Di- rector, Center for Motor Behavior and Pediatric Disabilities, Univer- sity of Michigan, 401 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2214 (USA). Address all correspondence to Dr Ulrich at: [email protected] edu. MC Lloyd, MA, CW Tiernan, MS, and JE Looper, PT, MSPT, are doc- toral candidates in the Depart- ment of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, and are associated with the Center for Motor Behavior and Pediatric Disabilities. RM Angulo-Barroso, PhD, is Asso- ciate Professor, Department of Ki- nesiology, University of Michigan, and is associated with the Center for Motor Behavior and Pediatric Disabilities. [Ulrich DA, Lloyd MC, Tiernan CW, et al. Effects of intensity of treadmill training on developmen- tal outcomes and stepping in infants with Down syndrome: a randomized trial. Phys Ther . 2008;88:114–122.] © 2008 American Physical Therapy Association III STEP Series 114 f Physical Therapy Volume 88 Number 1 January 2008
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D own syndrome (DS) is one of the few disabilities that car- ries with it the certainty of delays in all of the developmental domains. 1 In the United States, DS occurs approximately 1.36 times in every 1,000 live births. 2 Down syn- drome is a common cause of cogni- tive deficits in childhood 3 and results in significant delays in the onset of motor skills, including qualitative dif- ferences in movement patterns, compared with the typical develop- ment in children without DS.
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