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Early Infant Motor Skill and Muscle Developments

Researching Early Infant Motor Skill and Muscle Development

Can future neurodevelopmental impairments be predicted at infancy?

That’s the central question behind a collaboration with the MUSC Department of Pediatrics – Neonatology and CHP’s divisions of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.

Through this study, our primary investigator, Dr. Coker-Bolt, working with others to develop and test innovative assessments. The team is evaluating gender-related posture, movement and muscle changes for any relationship to later development disorders. Using motion kinematics, MRS/DTI imaging, ultrasound and other tools, the researcher hope to identify reliable diagnostic markers that spur prevention and/or treatment.

Primary Goal
To explore early markers in premature and full-term infants that will distinguish those at risk for future neurodevelopmental impairments

About the Initiative
A collaborative research study with the MUSC Department of Pediatrics – Neonatology and Division of Occupational Therapy and Division of Physical Therapy in the College of Health Professions


Principle Investigator: Dr. Dorothea Jenkins, MD Dept. of Pediatrics – Neonatology,
Co-Investigators: Dr. Patty Coker-Bolt (OT), PhD, OTR/L; Dr. Noelle Moreau (PT), PT, PhD;
Research Assistants: Jessica Perkel(link), MUSC Deptartment of Pediatrics; Katy Holthaus(link), MUSC College of Health Professions

Current Projects

To combine innovative assessments early in infancy to help detect early gender related posture, movement, and muscle changes that can help provide an earlier diagnosis of infants with developmental disorders:

  • Motion kinematics
  • Validated infant motor tests
  • MRS/DTI imaging studies
  • Ultrasound of muscles

Participants Needed

Newborn infants (full-term and premature infants). Recruitment is open and on-going.


SCOR Grant  - MUSC Specialized Center of Research Want to add the amount or anything else that you have applied for, etc?


MUSC Pediatric Grand Rounds April 2011

Contact Us

Patty Coker-Bolt, PhDDr. Patty Coker-Bolt
Phone: (843) 792-7491


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