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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The causes of a floppy infant can be classified as paralytic or non-paralytic.

Paralytic or peripheral causes of a floppy infant include:

  • anterior horn cell lesions:
    • Werdnig-Hoffman disease
    • trauma to the spinal cord
    • poliomyelitis
    • myelomeningocoele
  • perpheral nerve lesions:
    • Guillain-Barre
    • lead poisoning
  • neuromuscular junction - myasthenia gravis
  • muscle lesions:
    • muscular dystrophies
    • Pompe's disease
    • congential myopathies

Non-paralytic or central causes include:

  • brain stem disorders such as cerebral palsy or degenerative central nervous system disease
  • pervasive developmental disorders, like Down's syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome
  • benign hypotonia
  • systemic disorders, including systemic infection, malnutrition, hypothyroidism, congenital heart disease

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