Neuromotor ability in 5- to 7-year-old children with very low or extremely low birthweight

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1998 Oct;40(10):661-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1998.tb12325.x.


This study was intended to determine the effects of extremely low birthweight (ELBW, 500 to 999 g) and very low birthweight (VLBW, 1000 to 1499 g) on neuromotor ability in 5- to 7-year-old children. Fourteen ELBW and 20 VLBW children were compared with 24 term control children of normal birthweight (NBW, >2500 g). Using quantitative assessment instruments, the following data were collected: maximal cycling speed during 30 seconds of cycling at 'zero' resistance, simple reaction time of the legs, and performance on components of a whole-body coordination test. The main findings were a slower reaction time, lower maximal cycling speed, and lower coordination scores in the ELBW group compared with the NBW group and, for some variables, with the VLBW group. The reduced motor performance in these children appears for the most part to be a reflection of impaired neuromotor control and motor development, rather than merely a smaller body or muscle size.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Reaction Time