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J Korean Neurol Assoc. 2001 Jul;19(4):380-383. Korean. Original Article.
Lee S , Park MH , Park KW , Shin C , Cha S , Lee DH , Park MK .
Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Korea University.
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, College of Medicine, Korea University.
Ansan Health Study, Korea University.

BACKGROUND: The primitive reflexes such as palmomental, glabella, snout, nuchocephalic reflexes may appear in a variety of diseases of the central nervous system. In this study, we investigated the frequencies of these primitive reflexes in the healthy elderly Korean population that have never been studied before. METHODS: Randomly selected 103 vol-unteers aged older than 60 years were examined by neurologists with a systemic neurological examination which included primitive reflexes and by radiologists with neuroimaging. Seven subjects were excluded from the study due to abnormal findings in the MRI of one subject and unusual neurological signs in 6 subjects. RESULTS: The overall mean age of the subjects was 66.5 years. One or more of the primitive reflexes were seen in 26 (24.9%) subjects. Eighteen (17.2%) subjects showed the palmomental reflex; eleven (10.5%) subjects showed the glabella reflex; five (4.8%) sub-jects showed the snout reflex; and one (1.0%) subject showed the nuchocephalic reflex. One subject had palmomental, glabella as well as snout reflexes, and five subjects had two primitive reflexes at the same time. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the normal findings from the neurological examinations and neuroimaging, 24.9% of healthy aged people had one or more primitive reflexes. The presence of these primitive reflexes as an isolated phenomenon may not imply brain lesions. (J Korean Neurol Assoc 19(4):380~383, 2001)

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