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Startle response; Startle reflex; Embrace reflex
It is not necessary to check for a Moro reflex at home. Your doctor will check this reflex during an office visit.
Call your health care provider if you think your baby may have a broken shoulder bone or injury to the nerves that run from the lower neck and upper shoulder area (brachial plexus injury), which can cause the loss of the Moro reflex on one side.
An abnormal Moro reflex is usually discovered by the health care provider. The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the child's medical history. Medical history questions may include:
If the reflex is absent or abnormal, further tests may need to be done to examine the child's muscles and nerves. Diagnostic tests, in cases of decreased or absent reflex, may include:
Zafeiriou DI. Primitive reflexes and postural reactions in the neurodevelopmental examination. Pediatr Neurol. 2004;31(1):1-8.
Bear LM. Early identification of infants at risk for developmental disabilities. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2004;51(3):685-701.
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