Quantification of Oral Motor Function in Infants
Location(s): United States
Feeding problems are common in infants occurring in over 50% of those with prematurity, oropharngyeal dysfunction, or central nervous system injury [that may manifest later as cerebral palsy]. They can lead to poor growth, failure-to-thrive, recurrent hospitalization and present major diagnostic and management challenges. The most severe [>1:1000] require extensive evaluations; but apart from X-ray or bariatric studies, the clinical tools are visual and qualitative that still can leave unresolved questions. The Orometer is a novel device that attaches to a normal infant feeding bottle, designed to quantify nutritive sucking by infants with intuitive graphical output that can be shared and exchanged, facilitating professional consultations. No comparable instrument is available. In a phase I SBIR study, we showed successful results in testing a small cohort of normal infants. Hypothesis: It is possible to quantify and characterize such feeding problems even before an underlying etiology may be manifest. Such information would be of clinical value.