Compared to traditional therapies, treadmills can help infants with Down syndrome learn to walk months earlier, says a University of Michigan study published in the October issue of the journal Physical Therapy.
The study included 30 babies with Down syndrome who were walked on a treadmill for eight minutes a day, five days a week, Agence France-Presse reported.
As a result, the babies learned to walk four to five months earlier than usual 24 to 28 months it takes using traditional physical therapy alone.
Helping babies with Down syndrome learn to walk earlier can boost their motor skills, social skills, perception and spatial cognition, explained study author Dale Ulrich of the university's division of kineisiology.
"The key is if we can get them to walk earlier and better, then they can explore their environment earlier and when you start to explore, you learn about the world around you," Ulrich told AFP.
"Walking is a critical factor in development in every other domain." – (HealthDay)
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