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Brain Dev. 1992 Sep;14(5):294-8.

Primitive reflex profiles in infants: differences based on categories of neurological abnormality.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Neurology, Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Japan.


In order to clarify reflex profiles in the first year of life in connection with categories of neurological abnormality, six primitive reflexes, i.e., the crossed extensor reflex, suprapubic extensor reflex, heel reflex, Galant response, asymmetric tonic neck reflex and plantar grasp response, were examined in 458 normal infants, 78 infants with cerebral palsy (CP) and 81 infants with mental retardation (MR), whose diagnoses were confirmed at a later follow-up examination. The change in the mean score for each of these reflexes with age was characteristic for each category or type of neurological abnormality. This implies that a presumptive diagnosis can be made in neurologically high-risk infants by examination of the primitive reflexes. Such reflexes are therefore of specific significance, among other neurological criteria, in infants within the first year of life.

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