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Primitive Reflexes

Last updated on Thursday, December 9 2010 by jdmiles

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This is a mini-course written by Lizzy Freeman, M.S. III, and J. Douglas Miles, M.D., Ph.D. , and Dr. Mitzi Payne, all from Marshall University in West Virginia. 

This mini-course is a brief tutorial on the primitive reflexes - those reflexes which can be found on examination of neonates and infants, but which disappear or change with age.

These reflexes are helpful as they provide the clinician with information about how a child is meeting expected milestones in neurological development.

In addition to the textual information provided, we recommend you view the provided videos to observe how the reflexes should be tested as well as the normal response from the infant.

Learning Objectives:
1.    Identify when primitive reflexes appear and disappear in babies
2.    Identify the neural pathways that result in normal primitive reflexes in infants
3.    Abnormal reflexes and what can result in them