BALANCE PROBLEMS IN DOWN SYNDROME CHILDREN: VARIOUS SENSORY ELEMENTS AND CONTRIBUTION TO MIDDLE EAR PROBLEMS
Mohamed T. Ghannoum, Amira EL Shennawy, Ehab R. Abdelraouf, Ola H. Gebril, Heba S. Abdelhady
(Department of Otolaryngology, Audiology Unit, Kasr AL Ainy School of Medicine Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt)
JHS 2015; 5(1): OA17-21
Down syndrome (DS) is one of the commonest causes of developmental delay in children, with equilibrium problems being an integral part of the syndrome. This leads to further impairment of cognitive and concentration abilities.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In our study, 30 DS children were categorized into 3 groups: bilateral normal middle ear pressure, bilateral abnormal middle ear pressure, and unilateral abnormal middle ear pressure. Sensory components of balance (somatosensory, visual, and vestibular) were assessed using computerized dynamic posturography.
RESULTS: Results showed a statistically significant decrease in composite score, visual ratio, and vestibular ratio among DS children compared to normal children. No significant differences in sensory parameters between the various DS groups (with various tympanogram types) were encountered.
CONCLUSIONS: This might lead one to suspect central and proprioceptive causes behind balance problems in DS, but further extended studies are needed to confirm this. Bedside screening tests for visual and vestibular functioning of balance are recommended, e.g. past pointing and Fukuda for early detection and intervention.
Keywords: Down Syndrome, Ear, Middle, postural balance