Tremor in newborns: a norm or pathology?
Tremor is commonly referred to as involuntary low-amplitude movements of parts of the body caused by muscle contractions.If it is easier, tremor is a trembling or twitching of limbs, a chin, lips, a head. Tremor is physiological and pathological - most often associated with various neurological and endocrine diseases. The appearance of involuntary trembling of the lips, chin, hands in an adult almost always indicates that there is a serious health problem, but in newborn babies in most cases it is a variant of the norm.Table of contents: Causes of physiological tremor in newborns Risk factors Causes of abnormal tremor in newborns Differences in physiological and pathological tremors What should I do if my child's chin and hands tremble?Treatment of tremor in newborns
Causes of physiological tremor in newborns
All children are born with an immature nervous system, which is why they have a tremor. On the degree of maturity of nerve formations and, accordingly, the likelihood of a tremor affects the term on which the baby was born, as well as the features of the course of pregnancy and childbirth.For example, in healthy full-term babies born without complications and not feeling any negative influences during intrauterine development, tremor of the lips and chin may not be at all.In premature babies, almost all have a tremor of varying severity.
The second cause of tremors in young children is an increased level of norepinephrine in the blood. This hormone has a great influence on the processes occurring in all organs and systems, including the central nervous system.Norepinephrine is produced by the adrenal glands - glands of internal secretion, which, like the nervous system, complete their ripening process after the birth.Synthesis of norepinephrine usually increases in stressful situations.In adults this process is regulated, and in newborns - not quite, therefore it is not surprising that for any stress the baby's organism reacts by the release of excessive amount of norepinephrine.
In addition, a certain influence on the state of the nervous system of the newborn and the concentration in its blood of norepinephrine renders the emotional state of the expectant mother in the last weeks of pregnancy. Women's stresses are also accompanied by excessive synthesis of norepinephrine, which through the utero-placental circulation system penetrates to the fetus.
If we talk about specific risk factors for developing a physiological tremor in a newborn, we must include all the conditions in which a child in utero or in childbirth feels a shortage of oxygen, since all structures of the nervous system are very sensitive to hypoxia. These factors include:
- Violation of the function of the placenta.
- Threat of miscarriage.
- Embryo with umbilical cord.Placental abruption.
- Weak labor activity or vice versa rapid.
- Premature delivery( prematurity).
- Extragenital diseases of the mother( arterial hypertension, chronic lung disease, heart diseases, etc.),
All these states in their own way provoke an increase in the duration of ripening of the nervous system of the newborn and, accordingly, the appearance of a tremor.However, as they say, "time heals."With proper care, the child is very quickly restored and by 3-4 months the tremor of the chin and lower jaw, as a rule, passes.The pathological tremor does not disappear until its cause is eliminated.
Causes of abnormal tremor in newborns
The causes of abnormal tremor in newborns are:
- Intracranial hemorrhage( very often due to birth injuries and fetal asphyxia - acute oxygen starvation).
- Perinatal encephalopathy.
- Increased intracranial pressure.
- There is a deficiency in the body of a child calcium and magnesium.As a rule, this problem occurs in premature babies and full-term babies with low body weight.
- Hyperglycemia( increased concentration in the blood of a child's glucose).There is hyperglycemia in response to severe stress( labor is already stress for the child, if they are severe or premature, the load on the baby's body increases many times), severe infectious diseases, intravenous injection of large doses of glucose.
Differences in the physiological and pathological tremor
Important: parents should not themselves diagnose the baby, the information given below is only an introduction for dads and moms.
Physiological tremor usually appears in the children of the first three months of life. Thrills usually the chin and lower sponge, less often the handles( these jerks do not have to be strong). The following factors can trigger the onset of tremor( all of which are associated with a particular stress and discomfort for the child):
- changing clothes;
- sudden change in ambient temperature( when the baby is moved from a warm bath to a changing table or undressed in a cool room);
- any inconvenience( wet pampers, intestinal colic, etc.).
Physiological tremor can also occur in a dream - in the phase of fast sleep.The fact that this is exactly the phase of fast sleep can be understood from the active movements of the eyeballs of the baby.In this phase of sleep, the brain does not rest, but is in an excited state, and therefore there is a tremor.
Another important feature of physiological tremor is a short duration. As a rule, if the child calms down( when it is taken on handles, wrapped in a warm blanket, gives the chest, pacifier, etc.), everything passes very quickly - in seconds, minutes.
Unlike physiological, pathological tremor often occurs in complete rest and can be prolonged. The chin, lips, head, hands, legs of the newborn can tremble, and this happens symmetrically and asymmetrically.Parents can also notice that the episodes of shaking become longer, more intense, affecting both the head and the limbs of the baby.All this can be accompanied by a bad sleep, tearfulness, increased anxiety of the child.In addition, there are other signs of neurological disorders, but parents can not always recognize them, and the specialist will see at the examination.
What should I do if my child's chin and hands are shaking?
The first thing you need to contact a specialist - a child neurologist. A doctor, after examining and talking to his parents, can send a newborn baby to a study that helps to establish the diagnosis more accurately.
Modern medicine has advanced very much in recent years, therefore it is not difficult to examine the brain of a small child without causing any inconvenience.Such a highly informative and safe method of diagnosis is neurosonography( ultrasound of brain structures through an open large fontanel).With the help of this study, an experienced specialist can detect hemorrhages, tumors, cysts, ischemia sites in the brain tissue.
Treatment for tremor in newborns
Physiological tremor does not require treatment, but requires observation.Therefore, parents should be more attentive to the newborn( it is necessary to watch when there is trembling, what provokes it and how quickly it disappears) and regularly carry the baby to a neurologist for children so that the doctor can also monitor the condition of the small patient in the dynamics.
If the child has a physiological tremor, it will be useful:
- daily bathing in the baths with decoction of herbs having a relaxing and soothing effect;
- long walks in the fresh air;
- Breastfeeding( if breast milk is not available, highly adapted mixtures should be used for feeding, the composition of which can provide all the needs of the newborn, especially for preterm infants);
- comfortable conditions in the children's bedroom( cleanliness, optimal temperature of air and humidity, soft light, absence of sharp and loud sounds);
- favorable atmosphere in the family.
In addition, from the age of 2 months a neurologist can recommend a restorative and relaxing massage to a small patient, as well as swimming pool exercises.
Treating a pathological tremor is a more difficult task. Depending on the identified underlying disease, a newborn is prescribed a complex medication( in rare cases, it is necessary to resort to surgery), and after stabilization of the condition - massage, exercise therapy and other auxiliary medical procedures.
Zubkova Olga Sergeevna, medical reviewer, epidemiologist