Early Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy in Low-and Middle-Income Countries

Arrabella R. King, Mahmudul Hassan Al Imam, Sarah McIntyre, Catherine Morgan, Gulam Khandaker, Nadia Badawi, Atul Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Cerebral palsy describes a group of permanent disorders of movement, motor function and posture that occur due to non-progressive insults to the developing brain. Most of the information concerning the early diagnosis of cerebral palsy originates from studies conducted in high-income countries. In this scoping review, we aimed to explore the tools used in low-and middle-income countries for the early diagnosis of cerebral palsy. A systematic search was conducted using OVID Medline and PubMed databases. “Early diagnosis” was defined as diagnosis prior to 12 months of age, and low-and middle-income countries were classified according to the World Bank classification system. We identified nine studies on the early diagnosis of cerebral palsy from low-and middle-income countries. The tools featured (n = number of studies) were: General Movement Assessment (6), neonatal magnetic resonance imaging (3), Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination (2), Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination (1) and cranial ultrasound (1). We found a paucity of published literature on the early diagnosis of cerebral palsy from low-and middle-income countries. Further research is needed to determine the tools that are accurate and feasible for use in low-resource settings, particularly since cerebral palsy is more prevalent in these areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number539
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • cerebral palsy
  • cranial ultrasound
  • developmental delay
  • diagnosis
  • general movement assessment
  • Hammersmith infant neurological examination
  • low and middle income
  • magnetic resonance imaging

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