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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 9000
Experience:  Neurologist/Internist with academic and clinical experience.
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Should a newborn (1 week old) exhibit the grasp reflex while

Customer Question

Should a newborn (1 week old) exhibit the grasp reflex while asleep? If so, what would the most likely cause or causes be for the absence of the reflex? If a newborn has a weak or inconsistent grasp reflex while awake, what would be the most likely cause or causes? Would any of these causes result in other signs or symptoms and, if so, what would those be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to JA. The grasp reflex is one type of frontal lobe disinhibition reflexes (along with the snout, root, palmomental and others. They indicate that the primitive monosynaptic reflexes that are found in the spinal cord are intact. Babies lose them as they develop, they are important if they are present only on one side.

Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

The grasp can be lost during sleep (especially REM which is more than 50% in newborns. If you are concerned about symmetry do the Moro or startle reflex. Better is an EEG if you think there could be a problem. I hope that helps. If satisfied please remember to rate my service by clicking on the rating stars as that is how I am compensated for my work. Dr Frank