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Neural Plasticity
Volume 12 (2005), Issue 2-3, Pages 175-182

Postural Behavior in Children Born Preterm

1Oslo University College, Health Sciences, Physiotherapy Programme, Postbox 4, St. Olavs Place, Oslo 0130, Norway
2University Hospital Groningen, Department of Neurology, Groningen, The Netherlands

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present paper presents clinical and neurophysiological data of postural behavior in preterm children without CP. Clinical followup studies of preterm infants until toddler and school age have reported that low-risk preterm infants may have atypical postural behavior in terms of reduced amount of rotation during crawling, delayed dynamic balance, delayed onset of and a poor quality of early walking behavior. At school age, dysfunctions such as problems in standing on one leg and poor hopping are reported. Neurophysiological data of postural control at early age indicated the presence of a dysfunction in the capacity to modulate postural activity, and the postural activity has been characterized by temporal disorganization of EMG responses. Postural responses to goal-directed reaching in supine lying have been recorded and analyzed in terms of the total body center of pressure. In this study, preterm infants show less mobile postural behavior compared with full-term infants. In infancy, the less mobile postural behavior seemed to be adequate as it was related to better goal-directed reaching quality, but the results indicated that the relatively immobile postural behavior during reaching in early age was related to less favorable neuromotor behavior in school-age.