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Semin Perinatol. 2008 Feb;32(1):51-8. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2007.12.009.

Cognitive and educational deficits in children born extremely preterm.

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Department of Psychology, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Women's Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


A large body of research indicates that children born very preterm are at increased risk for neurobehavioral impairments; however, research examining outcome for extremely preterm (EP) children is limited. This chapter will review the literature focusing on early development delay, general intellectual functioning, specific cognitive skills, basic educational skills, and behavioral and emotional functioning in children born <26 weeks' gestation or with a birth weight <750 g. Findings are generally consistent and indicate that a large proportion of EP children and their families will face major challenges, including significant development delay, cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, and behavioral and emotional problems. However, a considerable proportion of these high-risk children will escape major impairments, and this variability in outcome is thought to be related to genetic (gender), perinatal (brain injury, bronchopulmonary dysplasia), and social-environmental (social risk, parenting) factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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