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Observation of General Movements in newborns and young infants: prognostic and diagnostic value
OBJECTIVES. In this paper a new approach to clinical and neurological assessment of newborns and young infants is described, based on qualitative evaluation of spontaneous motor patterns, and particularly of General Movements (GMs), which are gross movements involving the whole body. DEVELOPMENT. The results of several researchers on this topic, carried out in the last decade and supporting the validity of this method for clinical practice and for research, are reviewed. It is particularly suitable for being applied to fragile infants, such as preterm infants in the incubator. GM findings correlate very well with neuroimaging findings, and with the results of classical neurological examination, when this latter is applicable. Its results strongly correlate with the neurological outcome. Trained observers show a very high inter-observer reliability.