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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-16

Association of selected primitive reflex patterns with motor development among Nigerian children with cerebral palsy (a hospital-based study)

Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Cozens Bankole Aiyejusunle
Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1595-9587.175481

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Background: The retention of primitive reflexes (PRs) is considered to be one of the primary impairments associated with cerebral palsy (CP). However, little is known about the pattern of retention of PRs across the different classes of CP. Objectives: This study was undertaken to evaluate, identify, and describe selected PRs in children diagnosed with CP and to determine their association with motor development. Materials and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional analytical survey conducted in the physiotherapy departments of four conveniently selected public hospitals in Lagos metropolis. Thirty-one children diagnosed with CP aged between 18-84 months were recruited. A PR profile consisting of 15 PRs were evaluated. The World Health Organization (WHO) windows of achievement for six key motor milestones were employed to explore their motor development. Results: The placing reflex presented the highest pattern of persistence (12.96%) across all the classes of CP. Children with spastic CP had the highest mean sum of retained PRs (6.24 ± 2.36). There was no significant association between the sum of retained PRs and motor development (P > 0.05). In addition, there were characteristic patterns of responses for specific PRs. Conclusion: The pattern of retained PRs varies for the different classes of CP. There is no significant association between the retention of PRs and motor development for children with CP. There is a need for further, in-depth study of these reflexes, individually, to better understand how they influence the motor development of children with CP.

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