The latest medical research on Neuromuscular Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about neuromuscular medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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'Finding what works for me' - a qualitative study of factors influencing community gym participation for young adults with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy

To understand the factors influencing participation in community-based gym exercise for young adults with cerebral palsy (CP).

A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted. Interviews were completed with 39 young adults with CP (15-30 years, GMFCS I-IV) following a peer-supported, gym-based exercise program called FitSkills.

"Finding what works for me" was the overarching theme. Through their gym experiences, young adults with CP identified four interrelated main themes that influenced whether gym participation "worked" for them, or not: (i) psychological factors, (ii) a "social" participation context, (iii) organisational and logistical support, and (iv) cost. The social context of FitSkills was perceived to positively influence psychological health outcomes and attenuate perceived barriers to participation. Organisational support facilitated their initial attendance, while logistical effort and cost affected ongoing or future gym participation.

Social involvement plays a critical role in positive participation experiences in community exercise settings for young adults with CP. Clinicians supporting exercise participation for this group should prioritise intervention strategies that promote social engagement and mental wellbeing. Collaboration between clinicians, community leisure organisations, and funding bodies may be essential to overcome logistical and financial barriers during the transition to adulthood. Implications for rehabilitationThe main factor influencing the attendance, involvement, and ongoing exercise preferences of young adults with cerebral palsy (CP) was the social context of the participation experience.Altering the social environment through peer-mentoring can facilitate participation in the gym.Young adults with CP consider mental wellbeing to be an important motivator and outcome of gym-based exercise participation.Mental wellbeing should be prioritised for health promotion for this group.Collaboration between recreation organisations, health services, clinicians, and consumers to address logistical and financial factors can facilitate positive physical activity participation experiences in community settings.

Associations between COVID-19 lockdown and post-lockdown on the mental health of pregnant women, postpartum women and their partners from the Queensland family cohort prospective study.

Cerebral Palsy

There are very few developed countries where physical isolation and low community transmission has been reported for COVID-19 but this has been the experience of Australia. The impact of physical isolation combined with low disease transmission on the mental health of pregnant women is currently unknown and there have been no studies examining the psychological experience for partners of pregnant women during lockdown. The aim of the current study was to examine the impact of the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020 and post lockdown from August 2020 on the mental health of pregnant women or postpartum women and their partners.

Pregnant women and their partners were prospectively recruited to the study before 24 weeks gestation and completed various questionnaires related to mental health and general wellbeing at 24 weeks gestation and then again at 6 weeks postpartum. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) were used as outcome measures for the assessment of mental health in women and DASS-21 was administered to their partners. This analysis encompasses 3 time points where families were recruited; before the pandemic (Aug 2018-Feb 2020), during lockdown (Mar-Aug 2020) and after the first lockdown was over (Sept-Dec 2020).

There was no significant effect of COVID-19 lockdown and post lockdown on depression or postnatal depression in women when compared to a pre-COVID-19 subgroup. The odds of pregnant women or postpartum women experiencing severe anxiety was more than halved in women during lockdown relative to women in the pre-COVID-19 period (OR = 0.47; 95%CI: 0.27-0.81; P = 0.006). Following lockdown severe anxiety was comparable to the pre-COVID-19 women. Lockdown did not have any substantial effects on stress scores for pregnant and postpartum women. However, a substantial decrease of over 70% in the odds of severe stress was observed post-lockdown relative to pre-COVID-19 levels. Partner's depression, anxiety and stress did not change significantly with lockdown or post lockdown.

A reproductive age population appear to be able to manage the impact of lockdown and the pandemic with some benefits related to reduced anxiety.

Delivering paediatric precision medicine: Genomic and environmental considerations along the causal pathway of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders.

Cerebral Palsy

Precision medicine refers to treatments that are targeted to an individual's unique characteristics. Precision medicine for neurodevelopmental diso...

Biofeedback assisted relaxation training and distraction therapy for pain in children undergoing botulinum neurotoxin A injections: a crossover randomized controlled trial.

Cerebral Palsy

To compare biofeedback assisted relaxation training (BART) with distraction therapy for pain during botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) treatment.

This was a crossover randomized controlled trial. Eligible participants were 7 years and older with neurological conditions. Participants were randomized to receive BART or distraction during their first BoNT-A treatment, followed by the alternative intervention in their subsequent BoNT-A treatment. BART was delivered via BrightHearts, an interactive heart-rate-responsive application. Outcomes were pain (Faces Pain Scale - Revised), fear (Children's Fear Scale), and anxiety (numerical rating scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). Demographics, paired t-tests, and linear mixed models were used to compare outcomes.

Thirty-eight participants (mean [SD] age 13 years 5 months [3 years 4 months], 20 males, 34 with cerebral palsy) completed both interventions. There were non-significant differences in overall pain (mean difference - 0.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.91 to 0.80, p = 0.902) and worst pain (mean difference 0.37, 95% CI -0.39 to 1.13, p = 0.334) when using BART and distraction therapy. There were non-significant differences in fear and anxiety between interventions. Younger age, heightened pre-procedural state anxiety, and Gross Motor Function Classification System levels III and IV were associated with poorer outcomes (p < 0.05). Participants who received BART before distraction therapy reported lower pain and anxiety scores during both BoNT-A treatments (p < 0.05).

Children reported similar pain when using BART and distraction therapy. Those who used BART before distraction therapy reported lower pain and anxiety during both treatments.

Temporal trends, clinical characteristics, and sociodemographic profile of post-neonatally acquired cerebral palsy in Australia, 1973-2012: A population-based observational study.

Cerebral Palsy

To describe post-neonatally acquired (PNN) cerebral palsy (CP) in terms of temporal trends in prevalence, clinical and sociodemographic profiles, known causes and associations between causes, and sociodemographic variables.

Numerator data, a count of children with PNN-CP confirmed at 5 years of age (n = 523), was drawn from two Australian state CP registers (birth years 1973-2012). Poisson regression was used to investigate temporal trends in the prevalence of PNN-CP by 5-year intervals, calculated per 10 000 live births. Using data from all state and territory Australian CP registers (n = 469), distributions of clinical characteristics, PNN-CP causes, and sociodemographic factors were tabulated (birth years 1995-2012). χ2 and logistic regression analyses were used to assess associations between sociodemographic profile, Australian reference data, and known causes.

A significant temporal decline in PNN-CP in Victoria (p = 0.047) and Western Australia (p = 0.033) was observed. The most common proximal causes of PNN-CP were cerebrovascular accidents (34%, n = 158), infection (25%, n = 117), and non-accidental injuries (12%, n = 58). Children born to teenage mothers, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander mothers, or children born in remote areas were over-represented in this cohort compared with reference data (all p ≤ 0.001). Infectious causes were strongly associated with teenage motherhood (odds ratio 3.0 [95% confidence interval 1.1-8.2], p = 0.028) and remote living (odds ratio 4.5 [95% confidence interval 2.0-10.2], p < 0.001).

Although prevalence of PNN-CP has declined, the over-representation of priority populations, and the relative severity of a condition that is largely preventable, suggest the need for more specific primary preventive measures and support.

Research Summit V: Optimizing Transitions From Infancy to Early Adulthood in Children With Neuromotor Conditions.

Cerebral Palsy

The purpose of this executive summary is to review the process and outcomes of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Research Summit V, "Optimizing transitions from infancy to young adulthood in children with neuromotor disabilities: biological and environmental factors to support functional independence."

An interdisciplinary group of researchers, representatives from funding agencies, and individuals with neuromotor disabilities and their parents participated in an intensive 2.5-day summit to determine research priorities to optimize life transitions for children with neuromotor disabilities. Recommended priorities for research included (1) promoting self-determination and self-efficacy of individuals with neuromotor disabilities and their families, (2) best care at the right time: evidence-based best practice care, led and navigated by families seamlessly across the lifespan, (3) strengthening connections between developmental domains to enhance function and participation, and (4) optimal dosing and timing to support adaptive bone, muscle, and brain plasticity across the lifespan.

Implications of providing wrist-hand orthoses for children with cerebral palsy: evidence from a randomised controlled trial.

Cerebral Palsy

To investigate the effects of providing rigid wrist-hand orthoses plus usual multidisciplinary care, on reducing hand impairments in children with cerebral palsy.

A pragmatic, multicentre, assessor-blinded randomised controlled trial aimed to enrol 194 children aged 5-15 years, with wrist flexor Modified Ashworth Scale score ≥1. Randomisation with concealed allocation was stratified by study site and passive wrist range. The treatment group received a rigid wrist-hand orthosis, to wear ≥6 h per night for 3 years. Analysis included repeated measures mixed-effects linear regression models, using intention-to-treat principles.

The trial stopped early due to insufficient recruitment: 74 children, across all Manual Ability Classification System levels, were randomised (n = 38 orthosis group; n = 36 control). Mean age was 10.2 (SD 3.1) years (orthosis group) and 9.1 (SD 2.8) years (control). Data showed some evidence that rigid wrist-hand orthosis impacted passive wrist extension with fingers extended in the first year [mean difference between-groups at 6 months: 13.15° (95%CI: 0.81-25.48°, p = 0.04); 12 months: 20.94° (95%CI: 8.20-33.69°, p = 0.001)]. Beyond 18 months, participant numbers were insufficient for conclusive findings.

The study provided detailed data about short- and long-term effects of the wrist-hand orthosis and highlighted challenges in conducting large randomised controlled trials with this population. Trial Registration: Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: U1111-1164-0572 IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONThere may be incremental benefit, for children with cerebral palsy, at 6 and 12 months on passive wrist range from wearing a rigid wrist-hand orthosis designed according to this protocol.The rigid-wrist-hand orthosis evaluated in this study, which allowed for some tailoring for individual children's presentations, differed in design from past recommendations for "resting hand" positioning.Longitudinal follow up of children with cerebral palsy prescribed a rigid wrist-hand orthosis is essential to monitor any benefit.Minor adverse events were commonly experienced when wearing the orthosis and should be discussed prior to prescription of a rigid wrist-hand orthosis.

Early Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy describes a group of permanent disorders of movement, motor function and posture that occur due to non-progressive insults to the de...

Assessment of foot alignment and function for ambulatory children with cerebral palsy: Results of a modified Delphi technique consensus study.

Cerebral Palsy

The purpose of this study was to establish consensus for the assessment of foot alignment and function in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy, using expert surgeon's opinion through a modified Delphi technique.

The panel used a five-level Likert-type scale to record agreement or disagreement with 33 statements regarding the assessment of foot alignment and function. Consensus was defined as at least 80% of responses being in the highest or lowest of two of the five Likert-type ratings. General agreement was defined as 60%-79% falling into the highest or lowest two ratings. There was no agreement if neither threshold was reached.

Consensus was achieved for 25 (76%) statements, general agreement for 4 (12%) statements, and lack of consensus for 4 (12%) of the statements. There was consensus that the functional anatomy of the foot is best understood by dividing the foot into three segments and two columns. Consensus was achieved concerning descriptors of foot segmental alignment for both static and dynamic assessment. There was consensus that radiographs of the foot should be weight-bearing. There was general agreement that foot deformity in children with cerebral palsy can be classified into three levels based on soft tissue imbalance and skeletal malalignment.

The practices identified in this study can be used to establish best care guidelines, and the format used will be a template for future Delphi technique studies on clinical decision-making for the management of specific foot segmental malalignment patterns commonly seen in children with cerebral palsy.


The influence of tone on proximal femoral and acetabular geometry in neuromuscular hip displacement: A comparison of cerebral palsy and spinal muscular atrophy.

Cerebral Palsy

The aim of this article was to compare longitudinal changes in hip morphology in cerebral palsy (hypertonic) and spinal muscular atrophy (hypotonic) to examine the influence of muscle tone on development of hip displacement.

Children with spinal muscular atrophy (Types I and II) and cerebral palsy (Gross Motor Function Classification System IV and V) with hip displacement (migration percentage >30%) were included. Head shaft angle, migration percentage, and acetabular index were measured at T1 (1-2.5 years), T2 (3-5 years), and T3 (6-8 years). Analysis of variance testing and linear regression were utilized.

Sixty patients (cerebral palsy, N = 41; spinal muscular atrophy, N = 19) were included. Hip displacement occurred earlier in spinal muscular atrophy (34 months) than cerebral palsy (49 months) (p = 0.003). Head shaft angle was high and did not change between T1, T2, and T3, but significant changes in migration percentage were found (cerebral palsy: 23%, 36%, 45% (p < 0.01) and spinal muscular atrophy: 37%, 57%, 61% (p = 0.02)). Migration percentage increased by age in cerebral palsy (r = 0.41, p < 0.001), but not in spinal muscular atrophy (r = 0.18, p = 0.09). Acetabular index increased with migration percentage (cerebral palsy: r = 0.41, p < 0.001; spinal muscular atrophy: r = 0.48, p < 0.001).

Persistent lateral physeal tilt by head shaft angle was found for both spinal muscular atrophy and cerebral palsy. Abnormal physeal alignment may be causally related to weakness of the hip abductor muscles rather than spasticity or muscle imbalance, resulting in coxa valga and secondary acetabular dysplasia.

III (case-control study).

Finding consensus for hamstring surgery in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy using the Delphi method.

Cerebral Palsy

There is marked variation in indications and techniques for hamstring surgery in children with cerebral palsy. There is particular uncertainty regarding the indications for hamstring transfer compared to traditional hamstring lengthening. The purpose of this study was for an international panel of experts to use the Delphi method to establish consensus indications for hamstring surgery in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy.

The panel used a five-level Likert-type scale to record agreement or disagreement with statements regarding hamstring surgery, including surgical indications and techniques, post-operative care, and outcome measures. Consensus was defined as at least 80% of responses being in the highest or lowest two of the five Likert-type ratings. General agreement was defined as 60%-79% falling into the highest or lowest two ratings. There was no agreement if neither of these thresholds was reached.

The panel reached consensus or general agreement for 38 (84%) of 45 statements regarding hamstring surgery. The panel noted the importance of assessing pelvic tilt during gait when considering hamstring surgery, and also that lateral hamstring lengthening is rarely needed, particularly at the index surgery. They noted that repeat hamstring lengthening often has poor outcomes. The panel was divided regarding hamstring transfer surgery, with only half performing such surgery.

The results of this study can help pediatric orthopedic surgeons optimize decision-making in their choice and practice of hamstring surgery for ambulatory children with cerebral palsy. This has the potential to reduce practice variation and significantly improve outcomes for ambulatory children with cerebral palsy.

level V.

Anterior distal femoral hemiepiphysiodesis in children with cerebral palsy: Establishing surgical indications and techniques using the modified Delphi method and literature review.

Cerebral Palsy

The purpose of this study was to develop consensus for the surgical indications of anterior distal femur hemiepiphysiodesis in children with cerebral palsy using expert surgeon opinion through a modified Delphi technique.

The panel used a 5-level Likert-type scale to record agreement or disagreement with 27 statements regarding anterior distal femur hemiepiphysiodesis. Consensus was defined as at least 80% of responses being in the highest or lowest 2 of the Likert-type ratings. General agreement was defined as 60%-79% falling into the highest or lowest 2 ratings.

For anterior distal femur hemiepiphysiodesis, 27 statements were surveyed: consensus or general agreement among the panelists was achieved for 22 of 27 statements (22/27, 82%) and 5 statements had no agreement (5/27, 18%). There was general consensus that anterior distal femur hemiepiphysiodesis is indicated for ambulatory children with cerebral palsy, with at least 2 years growth remaining, and smaller (<30 degrees) knee flexion contractures and for minimally ambulatory children to aid in standing/transfers. Consensus was achieved regarding the importance of close radiographic follow-up after screw insertion to identify or prevent secondary deformity. There was general agreement that percutaneous screws are preferred over anterior plates due to the pain and irritation associated with plates. Finally, it was agreed that anterior distal femur hemiepiphysiodesis was not indicated in the absence of a knee flexion contracture.

Anterior distal femur hemiepiphysiodesis can be used to treat fixed knee flexion contractures in the setting of crouch gait, but other associated lever arm dysfunctions must be addressed by single-event multilevel surgery.