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Weight and Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder

Children with developmental coordination disorder are at greater risk of being

overweight or obese according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical
Association Journal).

evelopmental coordination disorder (DCD), which is manifested through coordination

difficulties including fine and gross motor skills, affects 5% to 6% of school-aged
children. It is present from birth but is usually not detected until later. DCD can interfere
with normal daily activities including personal care, recreational involvement and
academic skills such as handwriting.

The study followed 1979 students from 75 schools in Ontario, Canada over a two year
period from grade 4 to grade 7. The researchers screened children for coordination
difficulties and identified children who may have the disorder. They measured BMI and
waist circumference.

"Although DCD has in the past been considered part of the normal continuum of motor
proficiency or regarded as merely a "playground disorder" that can be relegated to a
secondary position in the universe of children's health concerns, these results, along
with other recent research, suggest that this is no longer acceptable," writes Dr. John
Cairney, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario with

The researchers found children with possible developmental coordination disorder were
three times more likely to be overweight than typically developing children, and the risk
for obesity increased over time. There was no difference between boys and girls in
prevalence rates.

The authors conclude "The findings have important implications for intervention. There
is a clear need to take a broader, longer-term view of the health consequences of DCD."

In a related commentary, Professor Scott Montgomery, Örebro University Hospital,

Örebro, Sweden, writes that "the hypothesis that poorer coordination results in reduced
physical activity and thus unhealthy weight gain is plausible" but says other factors may
be responsible for a higher risk of weight gain, including socio-economic factors, family
stress and other forms of psychosocial stress. He writes that in addition to children with
possible DCD, "perhaps we should extend our concern to a broader selection of
children with poorer coordination who do not meet all of the DCD criteria, as they too
will experience a higher obesity risk."

Journal Reference:

Canadian Medical Association Journal (2010, June 29). Weight and children with
developmental coordination disorder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 5, 2010, from /releases/2010/06/100628124553
Blood Test Shows Promise for Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease

Elderly people exhibiting memory disturbances that do not affect their normal, daily life
suffer from a condition called "mild cognitive impairment" (MCI). Some MCI patients go
on to develop Alzheimer's disease within a few years, whereas other cases remain
stable, exhibiting only benign senile forgetfulness. It is crucial to develop simple, blood-
based tests enabling early identification of these patients that will progress in order to
begin therapy as soon as possible, potentially delaying the onset of dementia. A group
of investigators, led by Professor Massimo Tabaton of the University of Genoa, Italy,
have data that sheds light on this issue. The results of their research are published in
the October issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The investigators report that the concentration in blood of amyloid beta "42," the toxic
molecule that is believed to be the main cause of Alzheimer's disease, is, on average,
higher in MCI cases that went on to develop Alzheimer's disease approximately three
years later. The values of amyloid beta in blood vary considerably among the patient
groups examined (MCI that develop Alzheimer's disease; MCI stable; normal subjects).
"This variability is likely very important," Dr. Tabaton noted and went on to add, "but
means that this needs further work before we can use this test for a definitive
diagnosis." For example, the scientists are going to set up a test that picks up a variant
of amyloid beta potentially more specific of the disease.

Journal Reference:

Carlo Caltagirone, Paola Bossù, Patrizio Odetti and Massimo Tabaton. (2009, October
22). Blood Test Shows Promise For Early Diagnosis Of Alzheimer's Disease. Science
Daily. Retrieved August 5, 2010, from