Postural Stability in Young Adults with Down Syndrome in Challenging Conditions


To evaluate postural control and performance in subjects with Down syndrome (SwDS), we measured postural sway (COP) in quiet stance in four 20-second tests: with eyes open or closed and on hard or foam surface. Ten SwDS and eleven healthy subjects participated, aged 29.8 (4.8) and 28.4 (3.9), respectively. The time-series recorded with the sampling rate of 100 Hz were used to evaluate postural performance (COP amplitude and mean velocity) and strategies (COP frequency, fractal dimension and entropy). There were no intergroup differences in the amplitude except the stance on foam pad with eyes open when SwDS had larger sway. The COP velocity and frequency were larger in SwDS than controls in all trials on foam pad. During stances on the foam pad SwDS increased fractal dimension showing higher complexity of their equilibrium system, while controls decreased sample entropy exhibiting more conscious control of posture in comparison to the stances on hard support surface. This indicated that each group used entirely different adjustments of postural strategies to the somatosensory challenge. It is proposed that the inferior postural control of SwDS results mainly from insufficient experience in dealing with unpredictable postural stimuli and deficit in motor learning.

In Plos One