Neurological 'soft' signs in low-birthweight children

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1981 Dec;23(6):778-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1981.tb02066.x.


Sixty-six longitudinally studied prematurely born children who had weighed between 1000 and 1750g at birth were examined neurologically at eight years of age. 13 of these children had localizing neurological findings and another 20 were found to have two or more non-localizing ('soft') signs of CNS dysfunction. These 33 children were significantly more likely to have sustained perinatal complications than were children whose neurological examinations were normal. However, a history of prenatal complications was significantly more frequent among children who subsequently developed 'soft' signs, while children with localizing findings were significantly more likely to have experienced postnatal complications. No significant differences in IQ or reading and arithmetic achievement test-score levels were found between children with 'soft' signs and those who were neurologically normal. Nevertheless, children with 'soft' signs were significantly more likely to have received special education and to have been referred for psychiatric consultation than were children who were neurologically normal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intelligence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Occupations
  • Parents
  • Postural Balance
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Risk
  • Speech