Functional Diagnosis in Infants and in Very Young Children: Early Predictive Signs

  • Giovanni Cioni
  • Andrea Guzzetta
  • Vittorio Belmonti


The progress achieved in the last decades in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) has extensively modified the care of the infant at risk, and especially that of extremely low birth weight infants and of infants with other conditions of high neurological risk. Life expectancy has considerably increased for these children, but they still remain at risk for neurological damage caused by perinatal infections, hypoxic-ischemic damage, hemorrhagic insult, or by a combination of these factors. Compared to the effort produced to monitor functional indexes and respiratory or cardiovascular activities, there is a surprising lack of detailed information about the functional status of the central nervous system (CNS) of patients in neonatal intensive care. Often, even a general evaluation of the vigilance or the integrity of the infant’s perceptual or motor system is lacking.


Cerebral Palsy Spontaneous Motor Activity Spastic Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia Early Human Development 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Cioni
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea Guzzetta
    • 1
  • Vittorio Belmonti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental NeuroscienceStella Maris Scientific InstitutePisa
  2. 2.Division of Child Neurology and PsychiatryUniversity of PisaPisa

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