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Early Hum Dev. 1994 Dec 16;40(1):39-49.

Observation of movements during sleep in ALTE (apparent life threatening event) and apnoeic infants--a pilot study.

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Department of Physiology, Karl-Franzens-University of Graz, Austria.


Fourteen infants of 2 months or 6 months of age were video-recorded during polysomnography. Four were normal infants, five had a history of ALTE (apparent life threatening event) and five had repeated and prolonged apnoea during sleep. Two ALTE infants have been recorded at 2 months as well as at 6 months of age. Movements during sleep could be classified into general movements, isolated movements of the upper extremity, startles, head rotations, and trunk rotations. In the ALTE cases at 2 months of age, the motility was quantitatively not different from the control infants but was markedly reduced at 6 months of age. (All cases had their event before 8 weeks of age.) In contrast to these findings, infants with repeated apnoea did not show a clear change in the quantity of their movements. With the exception of one ALTE case at 2 months, all observed cases of ALTE and apnoeic infants showed an abnormal quality of their spontaneous movements during sleep. As reported in a previous study, all these cases had also been found moving abnormally during wakefulness. It is suggested that the abnormal motility is a sequelae of the event (ALTE or repeated apnoeas) with as a consequence, an impairment of neural functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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