Congratulations to Stephanie C. DeLuca, Neuroscience faculty member, for her publication in BioMed Central. Readers have online access to this publication, they also will be able to download and print the PDF.


Children with microcephaly face lifelong psychomotor, cognitive, and communications skills disabilities. Etiology of microcephaly is heterogeneous but presentation often includes seizures, hypotonia, ataxia, stereotypic movements, attention deficits, excitability, cognitive delays, and poor communication skills. Molecular diagnostics have outpaced available interventions and most children receive generic physical, speech, and occupational therapies with little attention to the efficacy of such treatments. Mutations in the X-linked intellectual disability gene (XLID) CASK is one etiology associated with microcephaly which produces mental retardation and microcephaly with pontine and cerebellar hypoplasia (MICPCH; OMIM# 300749). We pilot-tested an intensive therapy in three girls with heterozygous mutation in the gene CASK and MICPCH. Child A=54 months; Child B=89 months; and Child C=24 months received a targeted treatment to improve gross/fine motor skills, visual-motor coordination, social interaction, and communication. Treatment was 4 h each weekday for 10 treatment days. Operant training promoted/refined goal-directed activities. The Peabody Developmental Motor Scales 2 was administered pre- and post-treatment.

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