Impact of Cerebral Palsy on Hand Preference with Special Reference to Premature Birth
Divyanshu Dubey, Amod Amritphale, Anshudha Sawhney, Harsh Bhartee, Maya Chansoria
Department of Pediatrics, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College, Garha Jabalpur, MP, INDIA.
Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the incidence of left handedness amongst the cases of cerebral palsy (CP) and to investigate the association between prematurity and hand preference.

Material & Methods: The present study is an out come of a camp 'LIFE LINE' organized at Jabalpur for developmental disorders. A total of 118 CP cases also attended the camp. Cohort of 113 CP cases was considered for evaluation of the hand preferences and its relationship with prematurity. The Edinburgh Inventory with local adjustment was used to asses the hand preference of the subjects. The parental interview pertaining to handedness of parents and children, past history, family history and relevant demographic information were also recorded.

Results: The mean age of the studied subjects was 6.2 ± 2.5 years, Male: Female ratio was 1.26:1. Diplegia (71.7%) was the most common type of the CP followed by hemiplegia (14.2%), quadriplegia (8%) and extrapyramidal CP (5.3%). More than half (51.3%) of the cases were found left handed on the Edinburgh method of evaluation as well as on their parental perception. The incidence of left handedness among the cases of CP was considerably higher than the reported prevalence of left handedness (10%) among the general population. Interestingly, nearly one-fifth of the studied subjects (18.6%) were preterm and out of these a significantly higher proportion (71.4%) was found with left handedness preference. (p=0.041).

Conclusion: We have observed higher probabilities of sinistrality in cerebral palsy cases compared with the general population. The probable explanation of this could be the damage to the left hemisphere which causes a mild hypofunction of the contralateral hand (in neutral right handers) which results the child to switch over to the opposite hand (left hand) for activities.
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