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Child Care Health Dev. 1983 Jan-Feb;9(1):29-47.

A study of school children who had identified virus infections of the central nervous system during infancy.


Forty-nine children who had a virus infection of the central nervous system (CNS) when under 1 year of age were studied. One child had died during the initial illness and three of the survivors were severely disabled. The other survivors, more than 5 years after the initial illness, were all attending normal schools. These 45 children, together with 45 matched controls, were examined. We confirm the findings of other studies that virus infections of the CNS in infancy may cause severe disabilities in some cases, and may depress intellectual abilities in others, even though they appear to have recovered fully. Many of the children who had a virus infection of the CNS in infancy had adverse birth and social histories and so were exceptionally vulnerable, but these factors did not account fully for the findings, and when their influence was included in the analysis, the index children still had a mean performance IQ (WISC) 6 points lower than the control children (P less than 0.05), whereas there was less than 1 point difference between the verbal IQs. Attention is drawn to the problem of virus infections in neonatal units.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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