Sunday, June 6, 2010

Movement Quality of Infants Correlates with IQ at School Age

Pediatrics published research on 60 preterm infants (range 25-33 weeks) without cerebral palsy. The infants were videotaped and movement was analyzed until 17 weeks post term. General movements were established as normal or abnormal. When the children were then 7-11 years old, intelligence testing was performed. Results indicated that if general movements were normal by 8 weeks post term, IQ scores were in the normal range. Abnormal general movements after 8 weeks post term were associated with lower IQ scores.

Makes me wonder about the role of physical therapy and our attempts to change the quality of infant movement. An interesting research study would be to compare two groups of children who are preterm. One group receives NDT based therapy until at least 8 weeks post term and the control group does not. Years later, measure IQ scores. Would the NDT group have higher IQ scores? Could you imagine the possibilities if the answer was yes!

Reference: Bruggink, Janneke L. M., Van Braeckel, Koenraad N., Bos, Arend F.
The Early Motor Repertoire of Children Born Preterm Is Associated With Intelligence at School Age Pediatrics 2010 125: e1356-e1363


TherExtras said...

Research is all about 'imagining the possibilities', isn't it, Margaret?

Method-based PT or not, I already believe quality of movement changes do contribute improving cognitive development. Being able to move leads to being able to think.


Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Certainly agree that movement is learning and thinking for infants. Just find it so amazing that what we are trained in has the potential to truly change lives more than I had previous thought. If strong evidence based research was there to prove it all, early intervention services would not be cut due to diminished state budgets. Private health insurers would be pay for physical therapy services day one of the preterm infants life....

TherExtras said...

Alas, perhaps we cling to too much to traditional techniques...much of what helps children learn to move is simply basic physiology - as opposed trying to replicate typical motor development in order of occurrence.

Notwithstanding, some brains are not (genetically) equipped to respond to the motor->thinking paradigm. And all the children are studied together.

The mix of diagnoses (true etiologies) and multiple techniques gives research not seen as evidence-based. No straight lines to the money. :(

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

I can always count on you to open up a new can of worms for me. Am an interpreting your comment summary, because there are so many mixed diagnoses and different techniques, evidence based techniques can be almost impossible for many treatment techniques/ children? If that was what you were saying that is very true!

TherExtras said...


And that particular can of worms almost didn't get opened. Blogger was "unavailable" when I submitted it. We'll see if this one comes through.

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Glad you opened it. It is a very true statement with the children that receive physical therapy. Each child is so unique therefore hard to generalize but helps to have a starting reference point.