Neurophysiologie clinique = Clinical neurophysiology 2018 03 28() pii S0987-7053(17)30205-8
Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) are particularly affected by handwriting disorders, which remain poorly understood and are not clearly defined. The aim of our study is to provide a better understanding of handwriting disorders, and specifically of dysgraphia in children with DCD.
Sixty-five children with DCD (5-15 years), enrolled according to DSM-5, were assessed with handwriting testing and standardized assessments of neuropsychological, neurovisual, MRI and neuropsychomotor functions, with special attention paid to muscular tone examination.
While handwriting disorders were strongly represented in our sample of children with DCD (89%), dysgraphia appeared uncommon (17%) and was closely related to several specific dysfunctions of laterality establishment; mild pyramidal tract dysfunction with distal phasic stretch reflex (PSR) in lower limbs; digital praxis slowness (both P<0.05). DISCUSSION
In our sample, dysgraphia was closely related to minor neurological dysfunction (MND) suggesting a disturbance of motor control at the level of the corticospinal motor pathway. This highlights the uncommon character of dysgraphia in children with DCD for which diagnosis should be made through a particular attention to evaluation of MND with muscular tone examination. This consideration, both in the research setting and in clinical practice, appears necessary to avoid inaccurate clinical diagnosis and to optimize appropriate therapeutic management.