What causes hypotonia in newborns?

What causes hypotonia in newborns?

Infants can present with hypotonia that is due to central or peripheral nervous system abnormalities, myopathies, genetic disorders, endocrinopathies, metabolic diseases, and acute or chronic illness (Table 1).

Can hypotonia be diagnosed before birth?

That’s why it’s also called floppy infant syndrome. Doctors can diagnose the condition in the first few minutes of life. They do routine checks of newborns’ muscle tone at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. Sometimes hypotonia shows up a bit later, but it will usually be noticeable by 6 months of age.

Do premature babies have low muscle tone?

Preemies often have very low muscle tone neonatally (e.g., they are “floppy”) and the abnormally increased muscle tone (the “tightness” associated with spastic CP) is often not apparent until after the first few months at home. Tone may appear normal during this period of transition.

Can babies with hypotonia walk?

A child with hypotonia often takes longer to reach motor developmental milestones, such as sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, and feeding themselves.

How common is infant hypotonia?

Although hypotonia is a nonspecific clinical finding but it is the most common motor disorder in the newborn….

Central hypotonia 47 (79.66%)
Peripheral hypotonia 6 (10.17)
Spinal Muscular Atrophy 1 (16.7)
Myopathy 5 (83.3)
Undiagnosed Hypotonia 6 (10.17)

Is hypotonia a disability?

Some children with benign congenital hypotonia have minor developmental delays or learning disabilities. These disabilities may continue through childhood. Hypotonia can be caused by conditions that affect the brain, central nervous system, or muscles.

How do you fix hypotonia?


  1. improve posture and co-ordination to compensate for low muscle tone.
  2. strengthen the muscles around the joints of the arms and legs so they provide more support and stability.

Can hypotonia worsen?

Depending on the cause, hypotonia can improve, stay the same or get worse over time. Babies with hypotonia that results from being born prematurely will usually improve as they get older.

What happens to your baby when you have hypotonia?

If your infant has hypotonia, they may appear limp at birth and not be able to keep their knees and elbows bent. Many different diseases and disorders cause the symptoms of hypotonia. It’s easily recognizable because it affects muscle strength, motor nerves, and the brain.

What are the most common causes of hypotonia?

Hypotonia is caused by disorders that affect any level of the nervous system – brain, brain stem, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction and muscle. Figure 1 illustrates common diseases with hypotonia as a prominent feature and their anatomical correlates.

What is the difference between weakness and hypotonia?

In contrast, weakness is diminished muscle power or strength. While weak infants are always hypotonic, hypotonia is often present with normal strength (2). Hypotonia is caused by disorders that affect any level of the nervous system – brain, brain stem, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction and muscle.

Is there a rational approach to hypotonia in infancy?

The present paper discusses a rational, simple and accurate diagnostic approach to hypotonia in infancy, illustrated by the case of a five-month-old infant girl recently referred to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.