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The goal of this study was to investigate plantar foot sensitivity and balance control of ADHD (n=21) impaired children compared to age-matched healthy controls (n=25). Thresholds were measured at 200Hz at three anatomical locations of the plantar foot area of both feet (hallux, first metatarsal head (METI) and heel). Body balance was quantified using the length, area and velocity described by the center of pressure (COP) during two-legged as well as one-legged stand (right and left legs). The comparison of vibration thresholds showed no differences between ADHD and healthy children at all anatomical locations of both feet. Whereas COP excursion and area were significantly lower in ADHD subjects compared to the healthy controls during two-legged stand, no differences were found in those variables when balancing on one leg. No differences in COP velocity between ADHD and healthy children were found in any analyzed conditions. The results indicate that the unusual and simple test situation may have increased the perception of vibration stimuli by the ADHD children. Furthermore, ADHD subjects seem to be less variable when performing simple tasks than healthy controls.
In this study, we tested for deficits in somatosensory function in boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and tactile defensiveness (TD). The subjects were 67 boys with ADHD, sub-typed as TD (ADHD+TD+) or non TD (ADHD+TD-), matched with 60 "typical" children in the control group. Sixty nine percent of the boys with ADHD were categorized as TD. The groups were compared on three measures: (a) performance scores on subtests of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, (b) measurements of the Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SEP) and (c) ratings of the children's affective responses during tactile stimulation. Both ADHD groups differed from the control group on most study measures. No significant differences were found between the two ADHD subgroups on threshold and perceptual tests scores, except for Finger Identification. However, the TD+ group demonstrated significantly higher central SEP amplitudes than did the TD- group. Together, the results support claims that TD is related to central processing of somatosensory information, but not to anomalous tactile perception, with the exception of Finger Identification.