Neurodevelopmental assessment of the newborn: An opportunity for prediction of outcome

Brain Dev. 2011 Feb;33(2):95-105. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 21.


Over the decades, the evolution of neonatology has been a continuum. After intense focus on cardiac and respiratory support, now more time, effort and research are concerned about brain development of the term and preterm infants. There is no single standardized neurodevelopmental assessment tool that can be advocated for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The tools that are currently available vary in their physiological bases, pre requisite training and expertise, time allotted to perform and score, and clinical utility and validity. In this communication, we describe the neurobehavioral and sensory capabilities of the neonate. We then compare the commonly used neurobehavioral examinations with an emphasis on premature infants. We envision this effort as an essential step before the development of a universal and comprehensive assessment tool.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / physiology*
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Movement / physiology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results