Infants at risk for physical disability may be identified by measures of postural control in supine.
Year of Publication
2021 Jun 26
<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Early detection of delay or impairment in motor function is important to guide clinical management and inform prognosis during a critical window for the development of motor control in children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of biomechanical measures of early postural control to distinguish infants with future impairment in motor control from their typically developing peers.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We recorded postural control from infants lying in supine in several conditions. We compared various center of pressure metrics between infants grouped by birth status (preterm and full term) and by future motor outcome (impaired motor control and typical motor control).</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>One of the seven postural control metrics-path length-was consistently different between groups for both group classifications and for the majority of conditions.</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Quantitative measures of early spontaneous infant movement may have promise to distinguish early in life between infants who are at risk for motor impairment or physical disability and those who will demonstrate typical motor control. Our observation that center of pressure path length may be a potential early marker of postural instability and motor control impairment needs further confirmation and further investigation to elucidate the responsible neuromotor mechanisms.</p>
<p><strong>IMPACT: </strong>The key message of this article is that quantitative measures of infant postural control in supine may have promise to distinguish between infants who will demonstrate future motor impairment and those who will demonstrate typical motor control. One of seven postural control metrics-path length-was consistently different between groups. This metric may be an early marker of postural instability in infants at risk for physical disability.</p>