Modulation of Balance and Gait in Children with Down Syndrome via Gravity Force Stimulation Program Training

Thabet, N. S., and H. M. Kamal, "Modulation of Balance and Gait in Children with Down Syndrome via Gravity Force Stimulation Program Training ", Bull. Fac. Ph. Th. Cairo Univ., vol. 16, issue 2, pp. 87-98, 2011.


Background and purpose: Down Syndrome (DS) is one of genetic disorders characterized by some common clinical and functional features. Most children with Down syndrome have deficits in balance, co-ordination, and gait throughout childhood and adulthood. So, it is essential to seek an ideal physical therapy program to help in solving such widespread problem. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of twelve- week Gravity Force Stimulation (GFS) program on balance and gait in children with Down syndrome. Subjects: Thirty children with DS from both sexes, ranging in age from eight to ten years represented the sample of this study. They were divided randomly into two groups of equal number A (control) and B (study). Procedures: Evaluation before and after three months of treatment for each child of the two groups was conducted via using Biodex stability system to evaluate balance and using foot print method to evaluate selected gait variables (stride length and step width). Group A received a selected exercise program, while group B received GFS program training in addition to the same exercise program given to group A. Results: The results revealed no significant differences in all the measured variables when comparing the pre-treatment results of the two groups, while significant improvement was observed in the two groups when comparing their pre and post-treatment mean values. Significant difference was also observed when comparing the post-treatment results of the two groups in favor of group B. Discussion and Conclusion: Gravity Force Stimulation program utilization provides sensory feedback and may be used as a therapeutic intervention for improving balance and gait in children with DS. Key words: Down Syndrome, Gravity Force Stimulation, Balance, Gait Parameters.

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