1IRCCS Stella Maris, Istituto di Neuropsichiatria e Psicopedagogia dell’Età Evolutiva, Università di Pisa
2Dipartimento di Scienze Ginecologiche, Ostetriche e Pediatriche, Sezione di Pediatria e Neonatologia, Università di Modena
Key words: General movements, Newborn, Infant, Brain disfunction, Follow-up
Qualitative observation of spontaneous motility, and particularly of general movements, is a promising approach to the neurological assessment of newborns and young infants. Data on the prognostic value of abnormal spontaneous movements in the first months of life for the later development of neurological handicaps are reported. In normal awake infants, fidgety movements (FMs) occur during the age period of 6 to 20 weeks and consist of a sequence of small and round movements in all parts of the body. The presence of normal and abnormal quality of these FMs were studied in 130 infants observed in 5 European Centres (Graz, Groningen, Heidelberg, Modena and Pisa) and compared with the neurological outcome at the age of 2 years. The results showed that normal FMs lead in 96% of the infants to a normal outcome, while abnormal quality or total absence of FMs was followed by neurological abnormalities in 97% of the infants. The new assessment technique of spontaneous motor activity is simple, totally non-intrusive, reliable and quick. At fidgety age it can identify those infants who need other exams or early intervention from those who do not.
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