Publications by authors named "Pauline Bm Aarts"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Neglect-like characteristics of developmental disregard in children with cerebral palsy revealed by event related potentials.

BMC Neurol 2014 Nov 30;14:221. Epub 2014 Nov 30.

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9104, Nijmegen, 6500, HE, The Netherlands.

Background: Children with unilateral Cerebral Palsy (CP) often show diminished awareness of the remaining capacity of their affected upper limb. This phenomenon is known as Developmental Disregard (DD). DD has been explained by operant conditioning. Alternatively, DD can be described as a developmental delay resulting from a lack of use of the affected hand during crucial developmental periods. We hypothesize that this delay is associated with a general delay in executive functions (EF) related to motor behavior, also known as motor EFs.

Methods: Twenty-four children with unilateral CP participated in this cross-sectional study, twelve of them diagnosed with DD. To test motor EFs, a modified go/nogo task was presented in which cues followed by go- or nogo-stimuli appeared at either the left or right side of a screen. Children had to press a button with the hand corresponding to the side of stimulus presentation. Apart from response accuracy, Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) extracted from the ongoing EEG were used to register covert cognitive processes. ERP N1, P2, N2, and P3 components elicited by cue-, go-, and nogo-stimuli were further analyzed to differentiate between different covert cognitive processes.

Results: Children with DD made more errors. With respect to the ERPs, the P3 component to go-stimuli was enhanced in children with DD. This enhancement was related to age, such that younger children with DD showed stronger enhancements. In addition, in DD the N1 component to cue- and go-stimuli was decreased.

Conclusions: The behavioral results show that children with DD experience difficulties when performing the task. The finding of an enhanced P3 component to go-stimuli suggests that these difficulties are due to increased mental effort preceding movement. As age in DD mediated this enhancement, it seems that this increased mental effort is related to a developmental delay. The additional finding of a decreased N1 component in DD furthermore suggests a general diminished visuo-spatial attention. This effect reveals that DD might be a neuropsychological phenomenon similar to post-stroke neglect syndrome that does not resolve during development. These findings suggest that therapies aimed at reducing neglect could be a promising addition to existing therapies for DD.
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November 2014

A pilot study of the Video Observations Aarts and Aarts (VOAA): a new software program to measure motor behaviour in children with cerebral palsy.

Occup Ther Int 2007 ;14(2):113-22

Department of Child Rehabilitation, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

A new computer software program to score video observations, Video Observations Aarts and Aarts (VOAA) was developed to evaluate paediatric occupational therapy interventions. The VOAA is an observation tool that assesses the frequency, duration and quality of arm/hand use in children, in particular those with cerebral palsy. Reliability studies show that the first module, designed to evaluate a forced-use programme, has an excellent content validity index (0.93) and good intra- and inter-observer reliability (Cohen's kappas ranging from 0.62 to 0.85 for the three activities tested). With the built-in statistical package, paediatric occupational therapy departments can conduct therapeutic evaluations with children with impairments in the upper extremities. Further research is recommended to apply the VOAA in clinical studies in paediatric occupational therapy.
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July 2007