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Neuropsychology of academic and behavioural limitations in school-age survivors of bacterial meningitis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 October 2004

Irene Koomen
Affiliation:
Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
A Marceline van Furth
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Miriam AC Kraak
Affiliation:
Division of Neuropsychology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Diederick E Grobbee
Affiliation:
Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
John J Roord
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Aag Jennekens-Schinkel
Affiliation:
Division of Neuropsychology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
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Abstract

Neuropsychological impairments possibly underlying academic and/or behavioural limitations were studied in 149 school-age survivors of bacterial meningitis, 68 with and 81 without academic and/or behavioural limitations. Academic limitations affected mathematics, reading, and writing. Behavioural limitations were inferred from scores in the clinical range on the Child Behaviour Checklist. These children had been selected from a cohort of 674 children (57% males) who had recovered from non-Haemophilus influenzae type B bacterial meningitis and who had a mean age at infection of 2 years 4 months (range 1mo to 9y 5mo). They had neither ‘complex onset’ meningitis, prior cognitive or behavioural problems, nor severe disease sequelae. They were assessed with standardized assessment methods a mean of 7.8 years (range 4 to 10.4) after meningitis. Children with limitations (32% of the cohort) performed generically poorly on measures of cognitive functioning, speed, and motor steadiness, rather than having impairments in specific neuropsychological domains. The presence of two or more minor neurological signs was more frequent in the group with than in the group without limitations (30% versus 9%); this may explain the relatively poor speed and motor steadiness of the group with limitations.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2004 Mac Keith Press

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