Developmental and neurological effects in Plagiocephaly

OptiStart Chiropractic
September 21, 2018

There is mounting evidence of neurological and developmentaleffects in infants with plagiocephaly. We have covered this topic previously.Here is some research from the past 4 years.


A 2018 study showed a statistically significantneurodevelopmental delay in patients with DP. (Ahmed, 2018)

- However, accelerated neurodevelopment wasalso encountered in many patients.

- There was no definitiverelationship between the severity of DP and the degree of developmental delayin our study group.


A 2017 review paper showed a positive association between plagiocephaly and developmental delay in 13 of 19 studies

- including 4 of 5 studies with“strong” methodological quality.

-  Delay was more frequently in studies with children under 24 months of age (9/12 studies) compared with over 24 months ofage (3/7 studies).

- Motor delay was the most commonly affected domain reported in high-quality papers (5/5 studies).


This review suggests plagiocephaly is a marker of elevated risk of developmental delays

. - Clinicians should closely monitor infants with plagiocephaly for this.

- Prompt referral to earlyintervention services may ameliorate motor delays and identify infants withlonger term developmental needs. (Martiniuk, Alexandra L. C.2017)

- A 2017 paper, looked at babbling (language) in infants with plagiocephaly

- A strong link between DP and brain dysfunction affecting vocal control, which would cause deviations in otherwise healthy DP infants, was NOT observed. (Wermkea,2017)


A 2014 study found auditory function was intact in infants with plagiocephaly.  (Hasim 2014)

- this differs to a previous study finding impaired auditory processing in infantswith plagiocephaly.