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Brain Imaging Correlates of Developmental Coordination Disorder and Associated Impairments

Bonthrone, Alexandra Faye; (2018) Brain Imaging Correlates of Developmental Coordination Disorder and Associated Impairments. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common developmental disorder characterised by an inability to learn age appropriate complex motor skills. The first aim of this thesis was to characterise additional cognitive impairments and their relationship with motor difficulties in school aged children with DCD. The second aim was to investigate grey and white matter neuroimaging correlates of motor and cognitive deficits identified. Thirty six children aged 8-10 years who met DSM-5 criteria for DCD and an age-matched typically developing group (N=17) underwent standardised assessments of motor, intellectual, attention, speech and language skills as well as structural and diffusion-weighted MRI scans. Grey matter correlates of impairments were identified using subcortical volumetrics and surface-based analyses of cortical morphology. White matter correlates were examined using tractography and fixel-based fibre morphology of the pyramidal tracts, corpus callosum and cerebellar peduncles. Alongside impaired motor skills, children with DCD performed poorer than controls on several domains of executive function (attention and processing speed) and speech motor control. Motor skills did not correlate with impairments in other domains. Cortical thickness was significantly reduced in the left central sulcus in children with DCD compared to controls. Poor motor skills correlated with measures in left sensorimotor circuitry, posterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula. Poor speech motor control was associated with measures in the thalamus and corticobulbar tract. Poor sustained attention was linked to measures in the right superior cerebellar peduncle. Lower processing speed was associated with reduced mean cortical surface area. Children with DCD show co-occurring impairments in attention and speech motor control. DCD is associated with sensorimotor circuits as well as regions that form part of the default mode and salience networks. Disruption of subcortical circuits may underlie additional impairments. This study provides novel evidence of the neural correlates of DCD.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Brain Imaging Correlates of Developmental Coordination Disorder and Associated Impairments
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Neurosciences Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047987
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