Prechtl General Movements Assessment

Prechtl General Movements Assessment

The General Movements Assessment (GMA) is a cost-effective and non-invasive method to functionally assess the young nervous system because it has been demonstrated that these movements in particular are an excellent marker for early brain impairment and dysfunction such as cerebral palsy and minor neurological deficits. The assessment can be completed from birth to 20 weeks of age of a child (corrected for prematurity).

From birth to 20 weeks post term, typically, infants have spontaneous movements repertoire. Newborns whose general movements are abnormal or absent are at risk of having neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy. The Prechtl General Movement Assessment is used to identify those absent or abnormal general movements.

The great advantage of being able to detect the risk of later development of CP (cerebral palsy) or even minor neurological deficits is the possibility to provide early intervention before pathological features develop. The early intervention will not prevent the development of CP, but it will help prevent secondary defects and minimize consequences of brain deficits. On the other hand, GMA is also crucial to support / confirm normal GMs of infants who will have a normal neurological outcome despite being at risk because of their history.

How is General Movements Assessment Done?

General Movements are observed and determined with the awake newborn lying on their back when they are alert and calm. The newborn baby should not have pacifiers or toys, and parents should not interact with their baby during recording. The baby’s video is recorded for 3-5 minutes, and the General Assessments are scored from this video.

An infant developmental trajectory requires at least 2-3 recordings of the preterm period, one recording at term or early post-term age or both and at least one recording between 9 and 15 weeks post-term. Frequency of assessment’s recordings varies according to history and age of the infant. This trajectory indicates the consistency and inconsistency of normal or abnormal findings which will assist prediction of the infant neurological development.

Should Your Child Have the General Movements Assessment?

A General Movement Assessment might inform about the development of your baby’s neurological system if they are under 20 weeks post-term age or had medical concerns at the time of birth or through first months of life such as lack of oxygen, prematurity, congenital heart disease or stroke. This assessment is currently an amazing screening tool.

Who Can Do the Assessment?

Therapists who are trained to perform the Prechtl’s General Movement Assessment and certified from the General Movements Trust ( Currently we can offer these services to hospitals across Dubai, UAE, the Gulf region and the whole of the Middle East. Medical staff or parents can record the videos, then they can be used by assessors.

If you make a video, ensure that the baby is lying on his/her back in a relaxed and alert position and lightly dressed – without socks. In this situation, avoid interacting with your baby because observing his/her general movements is very important.

Babies should not be given any toy, or they should not be playing or sucking a dummy. Record the baby’s movement from above, and ensure that his/her hands and feet can be seen for about 3-5 minutes.

An assessor will ask you about the baby’s birth history, video, and gestational age. The video can be take immediately after birth till 5 months.

If you want help, please get in touch with us for more information about the Prechtl General Movement Assessment.


Our therapists

Get in touch

Get in touch