Implications of neuro-developmental deviations in low birthweight and mechanically ventilated infants.

Research paper by Y R YR Burns, S L SL Turner

Indexed on: 01 Apr '82Published on: 01 Apr '82Published in: The Australian journal of physiotherapy


A condition described as transient dystonia which may have long term effects on the development of prematurely born infants has been reported in the literature. This study investigated the significance of this condition in 85 high risk infants. The infants were divided into those displaying dystonic and non-dystonic features at four months after expected date of delivery. Neuro-sensory motor status and the developmental quotient of each infant were assessed at 4, 12 and/or 18 months. The condition was present in 22 per cent of the group and developmental deviations were more marked in infants identified as dystonic compared with the non-dystonic. An increased percentage of normal responses by 18 months suggested that the condition may be transient. Implications for physiotherapy involve the recognition and selective treatment of dystonic infants.