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July 1958

The Relationship of Little's Disease to Premature Birth

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Neurology, Henry Ford Hospital.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(1):32-39. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060034006

Introduction  Little's disease is the term applied to morbid states established in infancy or in prenatal time and characterized by varying degrees of bilateral impairment in motility of the extremities and trunk. Babinski signs and enhanced deep tendon reflexes are characters differentiating this disorder from peripheral neuromuscular disorders and from purely dystonic and ataxic conditions. The term is generally used to denote those forms of cerebral palsy variously known as cerebral spastic paralysis, cerebral diplegia, congenital spastic paraplegia, spastic diplegia, and congenital quadriplegic spastic paralysis. There is considerable divergence of opinion in regard to cases which should be included under the heading of Little's disease. Furthermore, a wide variety of disease processes has been considered to be responsible for the disease. Some of these processes are intracranial hemorrhage, anoxia or asphyxia, genetic faults, prenatal degenerative processes, and toxic states.1-6 Little7 and many subsequent investigators have been aware of