Selective motor control correlates with gait abnormality in children with cerebral palsy

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Children with bilateral cerebral palsy (CP) commonly have limited selective motor control (SMC). This affects their ability to complete functional tasks. The impact of impaired SMC on walking has yet to be fully understood. Measures of SMC have been shown to correlate with specific characteristics of gait, however the impact of SMC on overall gait pattern has not been reported. This study explored SMC data collected as part of routine gait analysis in children with bilateral CP. As part of their clinical assessment, SMC was measured with the Selective Control Assessment of the Lower Extremities (SCALE) in 194 patients with bilateral cerebral palsy attending for clinical gait analysis at a single centre. Their summed SCALE score was compared with overall gait impairment, as measured by Gait Profile Score (GPS). Score on SCALE showed a significant negative correlation with GPS (rs = −0.603, p < 0.001). Cerebral injuries in CP result in damage to the motor tracts responsible for SMC. Our results indicate that this damage is also associated with changes in the development of walking pattern in children with CP.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date19 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2016


  • Cerebral palsy
  • selective motor control
  • gait


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