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September 1923


Author Affiliations

Assistant Physician in the Clinic of Children's Diseases, Royal University of Naples NAPLES, ITALY

Am J Dis Child. 1923;26(3):211-215. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1923.04120150018002

The study of the reflexes of the new-born has not led until now to exact conclusions as to their mode of action or pathognomonic importance. The various researches on the reflexes, and especially on the most important of them, the plantar and knee reflexes, often give contradictory results as to their mode of action and frequency. Therefore, I think that a summary of results which I obtained from a careful examination of new-born children in the first week of life will be of interest.

The imperfect development of the nervous system in the new-born, due to the embryonal type of ganglionic cells, especially the pyramidal ones, and to the myelinization deficiency, especially in the fibers of the brain, alters all nervous functions; and exact knowledge of these variations from the normal is necessary for the differentiation of physiologic from pathologic phenomena. The younger the child the more important this knowledge