“While we know babies born severely preterm generally achieve lower cognitive test scores, this is one of the first studies to look at how severely low birth weight impacts executive functioning, such as attention and visual memory, when these babies become young adults,” said study author professor Katri Räikkönen, PhD, of the University of Helsinki in Finland.
For the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults, 103 adults born with a very low birth weight (less than 3.3 pounds) and 105 adults who weighed more than 3.3 pounds at the time of birth were given tests that measured their thinking skills, including vocabulary, ability to understand words, memory and IQ. Participants were between the ages of 21 and 30.
The study found that adults with very low birth weight scored lower or performed slower in general intelligence, executive functioning and attention and visual memory compared to the adults born at a low to normal weight. For example, those with a very low birth weight scored an average 8.4 points (0.57 standard deviation units) lower on the full IQ test and 0.30-0.54 standard deviation units lower on the executive functioning and attention and memory tests.
Researchers also found those with very low birth weight were more likely to have received remedial education while in school, but there were no differences in their self-reported academic performance.
“Interestingly, average school grades and the number of years of education completed were not affected by low birth weight in our study,” said Räikkönen. “However, our research underscores the importance of a baby’s full development in the womb.”
The study was supported by the Academy of Finland, University of Helsinki, the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, Medical Society of Finland, the Finnish Foundation for Pediatric Research, the Finnish Special Governmental Subsidy for Health Sciences, the Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation, the Juho Vainio Foundation, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, The Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation, the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, the Orion-Pharma Foundation, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Finnish National Graduate School of Clinical Investigation, the Wilhelm and Else Stockmann Foundation and the Pediatric Graduate School, University of Helsinki.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of 24,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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