A Follow-Up Study of Child Psychiatric Clinic Attenders with Minor Neurological Dysfunction
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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Thirty-two child psychiatric patients with minor neurological dysfunction (MND) were followed-up after a mean interval of 5.3 years. Six clusters were analyzed that measured posture and muscle tonus, reflexes, coordination and balance, fine manipulative ability, choreiform dyskinesia, and associated movements. In the majority of cases, remission occurred for posture and muscle tonus, and choreiform dyskinesia and reflexes. Problems with fine manipulative ability and associated movements, however, persisted in most cases. Change in the total MND-abnormality score was also analyzed. Elevated scores and greater age at the initial assessment, and longer intervals between the initial assessment and follow-up were associated with greater improvement, indicating that biological maturation is an important factor in symptom remission. Slow background activity was the predominant EEG-pattern that tended to persist rather than to remit over time. A wide spectrum of psychiatric diagnoses was recorded on both occasions. In general, the tendency for remission of psychiatric disorders was stronger than that of persistence and new manifestation. In addition, with regard to behavioural abnormalities, the total score and subscore for emotional disorders diminished over time.