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Current Developmental Disorders Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 161–169 | Cite as

The Concept of Atypical Brain Development in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)—a New Look

  • Deborah DeweyEmail author
  • Francois P. Bernier
Disorders of Motor (PH Wilson, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Disorders of Motor

Abstract

The concept of atypical brain development was introduced by Gilger and Kaplan in 2001 to describe developmental variation in brain functions and to account for the high degree of comorbidity among neurodevelopmental disorders. Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder affecting around 5–6 % of school-aged children. It is phenotypically heterogeneous, with up to 70 % of children meeting criteria for at least one other neurodevelopmental disorder. Recent genetic evidence has found that the same genes are implicated in various neurodevelopmental disorders, including DCD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder, and that these genes play a significant role in brain development. Imaging research has revealed that children with DCD display alterations in brain structure and function and that some of these alterations overlap with those that have been found children with ADHD, whereas others are unique to children who display DCD. Emerging genetic and imaging evidence supports the contention that DCD, which is associated with impairments in motor functioning, behavior, and other neuropsychological functions (e.g., visual perception, executive functioning), is due to atypical brain development. Future research is needed to help clarify the alterations in brain structure and function associated with this disorder and to examine etiological factors (e.g., genetics, teratogens, nutrition, very low birth weight) that place children at risk for DCD.

Keywords

Atypical brain development Developmental coordination disorder DCD Comorbidity Genetics Neuroimaging Brain structure Brain function 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Deborah Dewey reports grants from Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Francois P. Bernier declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Paediatrics, Owerko Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research InstituteUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of Medical Genetics, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research InstituteUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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