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Tzu-I Lee, Tsu-Hsin Howe, Hao-Ling Chen, Tien-Ni Wang
This study investigates handwriting characteristics and potential predictors of handwriting legibility among typically developing elementary school children in Taiwan. Predictors of handwriting legibility included visual-motor integration (VMI), visual perception (VP), eye-hand coordination (EHC), and biomechanical characteristics of handwriting. A total of 118 children were recruited from an elementary school in Taipei, Taiwan. A computerized program then assessed their handwriting legibility. The biomechanics of handwriting were assessed using a digitizing writing tablet...
November 2016: American Journal of Occupational Therapy: Official Publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association
Gabriel Marzinotto, José C Rosales, Mounîm A El-Yacoubi, Sonia Garcia-Salicetti, Christian Kahindo, Hélène Kerhervé, Victoria Cristancho-Lacroix, Anne-Sophie Rigaud
Characterizing age from handwriting (HW) has important applications, as it is key to distinguishing normal HW evolution with age from abnormal HW change, potentially triggered by neurodegenerative decline. We propose, in this work, an original approach for online HW style characterization based on a two-level clustering scheme. The first level generates writer-independent word clusters from raw spatial-dynamic HW information. At the second level, each writer's words are converted into a Bag of Prototype Words that is augmented by an interword stability measure...
2016: Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Ambra Bisio, Ludovico Pedullà, Laura Bonzano, Piero Ruggeri, Giampaolo Brichetto, Marco Bove
Writing is a means of communication which requires complex motor, perceptual, and cognitive skills. If one of these abilities gets lost following traumatic events or due to neurological diseases, handwriting could deteriorate. Occupational therapy practitioners provide rehabilitation services for people with impaired handwriting. However, to determine the effectiveness of handwriting interventions no studies assessed whether the proposed treatments improved the kinematics of writing movement or had an effect at the level of the central nervous system...
2016: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Marta San Luciano, Cuiling Wang, Roberto A Ortega, Qiping Yu, Sarah Boschung, Jeannie Soto-Valencia, Susan B Bressman, Richard B Lipton, Seth Pullman, Rachel Saunders-Pullman
INTRODUCTION: Pre-clinical markers of Parkinson's Disease (PD) are needed, and to be relevant in pre-clinical disease, they should be quantifiably abnormal in early disease as well. Handwriting is impaired early in PD and can be evaluated using computerized analysis of drawn spirals, capturing kinematic, dynamic, and spatial abnormalities and calculating indices that quantify motor performance and disability. Digitized spiral drawing correlates with motor scores and may be more sensitive in detecting early changes than subjective ratings...
2016: PloS One
Sangwon Han, Minyoung Oh, Jungsu S Oh, Sang Ju Lee, Seung Jun Oh, Sun Ju Chung, Hee Kyung Park, Jae Seung Kim
Importance: Pure akinesia with gait freezing (PAGF) is a clinical syndrome characterized by freezing of gait, handwriting, and speech without abnormal eye movement or cognitive impairment. Several studies have suggested that PAGF may be a variant of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, the characteristics of striatal dopamine transporter loss in PAGF are unknown. Objective: To investigate the subregional pattern of striatal dopamine transporter loss in patients with PAGF in comparison with patients with PSP and those with Parkinson disease (PD)...
October 10, 2016: JAMA Neurology
Arielle M Fisher, Michael Q Ding, Harry Hochheiser, Gerald P Douglas
BACKGROUND: Free and charitable clinics are a critical part of America's healthcare safety net. Although informatics tools have the potential to mitigate many of the organizational and service-related challenges facing these clinics, little research attention has been paid to the workflows and potential impact of electronic systems in these settings. In previous work, we performed a qualitative investigation at a free clinic dispensary to identify workflow challenges that may be alleviated through introduction of informatics interventions...
September 29, 2016: BMC Health Services Research
Victoria Tchaikovski, Jean-Michel Gracies, Emilie Hutin, Nicolas Bayle, Caroline Radot
OBJECTIVE: Micrographia and bradygraphia are classic features of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the relevance of quantifying them in the clinical exam with pen and paper is unclear. MATERIALS/PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-five patients with PD (72±8 years, 8F; time since diagnosis 9.8±5.1 years; Hoehn and Yahr 2.5±0.6) and 26 age-matched healthy controls (HC, 71±16years, 8F) wrote three times the same standard sentence in the OFF state. We measured changes from sentence 1 (S1) to sentence 3 (S3), in writing speed (WS), sentence length (SL), heights of first and last Ps (H1P, H3P), mean inter-words interval (IWI) and ratio total inter-word interval/sentence length (TIWI/SL)...
September 2016: Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Sabrina Gerth, Annegret Klassert, Thomas Dolk, Michael Fliesser, Martin H Fischer, Guido Nottbusch, Julia Festman
Due to their multifunctionality, tablets offer tremendous advantages for research on handwriting dynamics or for interactive use of learning apps in schools. Further, the widespread use of tablet computers has had a great impact on handwriting in the current generation. But, is it advisable to teach how to write and to assess handwriting in pre- and primary schoolchildren on tablets rather than on paper? Since handwriting is not automatized before the age of 10 years, children's handwriting movements require graphomotor and visual feedback as well as permanent control of movement execution during handwriting...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Robyn Doney, Barbara R Lucas, Tracy Jirikowic, Tracey W Tsang, Rochelle E Watkins, Kay Sauer, Peter Howat, Jane Latimer, James P Fitzpatrick, June Oscar, Maureen Carter, Elizabeth J Elliott
BACKGROUND/AIM: Few studies have examined graphomotor skills in children with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). METHODS: Graphomotor skills were assessed in 108 predominantly Australian Aboriginal children aged 7.5-9.6 years in remote Western Australia using clinical observations (pencil grasp; writing pressure) and standardised assessment tools (the Evaluation Tool of Children's Handwriting; and the Miller Function and Participation Scales - The Draw-a-Kid Game)...
September 19, 2016: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal
Emily Owens, Keith A Josephs, Rodolfo Savica, Anhar Hassan, Bryan Klassen, James Bower, Demetrius Maraganore, Joseph Matsumoto, J E Ahlskog
Gait freezing as a presenting and relatively restricted condition is uncommon but a distinctive disorder. This entity was initially defined as "pure akinesia with gait freezing", and later a neuropathological substrate of progressive supranuclear palsy has been recognized. Limited studies have reported the clinical evolution after presentation, which is important for patient counseling. The objective of this study was to assess the demographic and clinical features, treatment-response, neuroimaging, and evolution of pure akinesia with gait freezing...
September 13, 2016: Journal of Neurology
Sheng He, Petros Samara, Jan Burgers, Lambert Schomaker
It is of essential importance for historians to know the date and place of origin of the documents they study. It would be a huge advancement for historical scholars if it would be possible to automatically estimate the geographical and temporal provenance of a handwritten document by inferring them from the handwriting style of such a document. We propose a multiple-label guided clustering algorithm to discover the correlations between the concrete low-level visual elements in historical documents and abstract labels, such as date and location...
November 2016: IEEE Transactions on Image Processing: a Publication of the IEEE Signal Processing Society
Duncan Taylor, David Powers
Electropherograms are produced in great numbers in forensic DNA laboratories as part of everyday criminal casework. Before the results of these electropherograms can be used they must be scrutinised by analysts to determine what the identified data tells us about the underlying DNA sequences and what is purely an artefact of the DNA profiling process. A technique that lends itself well to such a task of classification in the face of vast amounts of data is the use of artificial neural networks. These networks, inspired by the workings of the human brain, have been increasingly successful in analysing large datasets, performing medical diagnoses, identifying handwriting, playing games, or recognising images...
July 28, 2016: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Roberto Gimenez, Rafael do Nascimento Soares, Victor Vedovelli Ojeda, Cristiane Makida-Dionísio, Edison de J Manoel
The role of two different layouts of school furniture was investigated in the pattern legibility and spatial-temporal parameters of a graphic skill acquisition. Thirty children from the first grade of elementary school (mean age = 6 years) practiced a graphic task according to a criterion figure. They were assigned to two groups, Group of Fixed School Desk (GF) and Group with Adjustable School Desk (GA). Each child practiced the task on a digital tablet for 25 trials. The software Movalyser 2.3 processed the data from which the following measures were obtained: pattern legibility, linear spatial error and speed of execution...
2016: SpringerPlus
Cecile Gallea, Silvina G Horovitz, Muslimah 'Ali Najee-Ullah, Mark Hallett
Handwriting with the dominant hand is a highly skilled task singularly acquired in humans. This skill is the isolated deficit in patients with writer's cramp (WC), a form of dystonia with maladaptive plasticity, acquired through intensive and repetitive motor practice. When a skill is highly trained, a motor program is created in the brain to execute the same movement kinematics regardless of the effector used for the task. The task- and effector-specific symptoms in WC suggest that a problem particularly occurs in the brain when the writing motor program is carried out by the dominant hand...
July 28, 2016: Human Brain Mapping
Karla Dalliane Batista Leal, Ramon Weyler Duarte Leopoldino, Rand Randall Martins, Lourena Mafra Veríssimo
OBJECTIVE: To investigate potential intravenous drug incompatibilities and related risk factors in a pediatric unit. METHODS: A cross-sectional analytical study conducted in the pediatric unit of a university hospital in Brazil. Data on prescriptions given to children aged 0-15 years from June to October 2014 were collected. Prescriptions that did not include intravenous drugs and prescriptions with incomplete dosage regimen or written in poor handwriting were excluded...
April 2016: Einstein
Sargur N Srihari, Lu Meng, Lisa Hanson
Handwriting of children in early grades is studied from the viewpoint of quantitatively measuring the development of handwriting individuality. Handwriting samples of children, in grades 2-4, writing a paragraph of text in both handprinted and cursive, collected over a period of 3 years, were analyzed using two different approaches: (i) characteristics of the word "and" and (ii) entire paragraphs using an automated system. In the first approach, word characteristics were analyzed using statistical measures...
September 2016: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Ahmed A Moustafa, Srinivasa Chakravarthy, Joseph R Phillips, Ankur Gupta, Szabolcs Keri, Bertalan Polner, Michael J Frank, Marjan Jahanshahi
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a range of motor symptoms. Besides the cardinal symptoms (akinesia and bradykinesia, tremor and rigidity), PD patients show additional motor deficits, including: gait disturbance, impaired handwriting, grip force and speech deficits, among others. Some of these motor symptoms (e.g., deficits of gait, speech, and handwriting) have similar clinical profiles, neural substrates, and respond similarly to dopaminergic medication and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Here, we provide an extensive review of the clinical characteristics and neural substrates of each of these motor symptoms, to highlight precisely how PD and its medical and surgical treatments impact motor symptoms...
September 2016: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Sandra Patton, Eve Hutton
BACKGROUND: The active involvement of parents and children in goal setting and intervention is integral to contemporary occupational therapy process models. However, parental perspectives on collaborative handwriting intervention are limited. This paper presents parental perspectives on a three-way collaboration involving teachers, parents and an occupational therapist in the application of Handwriting Without Tears(®) (HWT(®) ) with children with Down syndrome. METHODS: Within a larger mixed methods study, 44 parents completed purpose-designed questionnaires and six parents participated in a focus group, post 8 months of programme implementation...
August 2016: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal
Klaus Greff, Rupesh K Srivastava, Jan Koutnik, Bas R Steunebrink, Jurgen Schmidhuber
Several variants of the long short-term memory (LSTM) architecture for recurrent neural networks have been proposed since its inception in 1995. In recent years, these networks have become the state-of-the-art models for a variety of machine learning problems. This has led to a renewed interest in understanding the role and utility of various computational components of typical LSTM variants. In this paper, we present the first large-scale analysis of eight LSTM variants on three representative tasks: speech recognition, handwriting recognition, and polyphonic music modeling...
July 9, 2016: IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
Melissa Lau, Li Wang, Sari Acra, Maciej S Buchowski
BACKGROUND: Standardized measures of energy expenditure (EE) for sedentary activities in youth are needed. The goal was to determine EE of common contemporary and computer-related sedentary activities in youth. METHODS: We measured EE for sedentary tasks in 10- to 17-year-old youths (n = 24) during ~24 hours in a whole-room indirect calorimeter. Directly monitored tasks were performed for ~10-min. EE was calculated from oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide produced, converted to metabolic equivalents (MET) by normalization to an individual's measured resting EE, and compared with the Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth...
June 2016: Journal of Physical Activity & Health
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