Neurobehavioral continuity from fetus to neonate

Milan Stanojevic 1 , Asim Kurjak, Aida Salihagić-Kadić 2 , Oliver Vasilj 1 , Berivoj Miskovic 1 , Afaf Naim Shaddad 3 , Badreldeen Ahmed 3 ,  and Sanja Tomasović 4
  • 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School University of Zagreb, Sveti Duh Cinical Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2 Institute of Physiology, Medical School University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • 3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women's Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
  • 4 Department of Neurology Medical School University of Osijek, Sveti Duh Cinical Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia


Neurobehavior represents development of the central nervous system (CNS). Fetuses and newborns exhibit a large number of endogenously generated motor patterns, among which general movements are often investigated pre- and post-natally. Spontaneous activity is probably a more sensitive indicator of brain dysfunction than reactivity to sensory stimuli while testing reflexes. Nutritional stress at critical times during fetal development can have persistent and potentially irreversible effects particularly on brain growth and function. Unfavorable intrauterine environment can affect adversely brain growth. All endogenously generated movement patterns from un-stimulated CNS might be observed as early as from the seven to eight weeks' gestation, with a rich repertoire of movements within the next two or three weeks, continuing for five to six months postnatally. It is still uncertain whether a new scoring system for prenatal neurological assessment will be adequate for the distinction between normal and abnormal fetuses in low-risk pregnancies. The continuity of behavioral patterns from prenatal to postnatal life might answer these intriguing questions.

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The Journal of Perinatal Medicine is a truly international forum covering the entire field of perinatal medicine. It is an essential news source for all those obstetricians, neonatologists, perinatologists and allied health professionals who wish to keep abreast of progress in perinatal and related research.