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Posted by on Jun 6, 2020 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to investigate fine motor (movement) impairments in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who are receiving maintenance treatment.  

This study concluded that a high percentage of these patients experienced fine motor difficulties.  

Some background

Treatments for patients diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in early childhood have been shown to cause neuromuscular and musculoskeletal impairments more commonly. Testing of fine motor skill can show neuromuscular and musculoskeletal impairments. A fine motor skill involves the coordination between small muscles (such as those in fingers and hands) with the eyes. 

It was unknown how many children with ALL have fine motor difficulties when receiving maintenance treatment.  

Methods & findings

This study involved 54 children (aged 4-7) treated for ALL in the maintenance phase. These patients were compared to an age and sex-matched control group. The main measure investigated was fine motor skill performance. This was measured using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency second edition test (BOT-2).  

Children with ALL had significantly impaired fine motor skills when compared to the control group. Increasing doses of vincristine (Oncovin), methotrexate (Otrexup), and dexamethasone (Decadron) had no significant association with any BOT-2 measure.  The duration of maintenance treatment and age also did not significantly affect BOT-2 measures. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that approximately 67% of children with ALL receiving maintenance treatment experienced fine motor difficulties.

The fine print

This study included a small number of patients. Further larger studies are needed.

Published By :

Pediatric blood & cancer

Date :

May 13, 2020

Original Title :

Investigating fine motor deficits during maintenance therapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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