Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Have Impaired Balance Function: Involvement of Somatosensory, Visual, and Vestibular Systems

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Objectives: To compare standing balance performance and sensory organization of balance control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (combined type) (ADHD-C) and typically developing children. Study design: School-aged children (n = 43) with ADHD-C and 50 age- and sex-matched typically developing children participated in the study. Sensory organization of standing balance was evaluated using the Sensory Organization Test (SOT). In addition to the composite equilibrium score, somatosensory, vestibular, and visual ratios, which were indicators of the ability of the child to use information from the respective sensory systems to maintain balance, were computed. Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to compare the outcome variables between the 2 groups while controlling for physical activity level. Results: MANCOVA revealed that children with ADHD-C had significantly lower composite equilibrium scores (P < .001) and somatosensory (P = .029), vestibular (P = .037), and visual ratios (P = .001) than control children, by 10.3%, 2.1%, 15.6%, and 16.0%, respectively. Conclusions: Children with ADHD-C had significant deficits in standing balance performance in all conditions that included a disruption of sensory signals. The visual system tends to be more involved in contributing to the balance deficits in children with ADHD-C than the somatosensory and vestibular systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-249
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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