Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Memory and attention problems may follow preemies into adulthood

Date:
December 6, 2011
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Babies born at a very low birth weight are more likely to have memory and attention problems when they become adults than babies born at a low to normal weight, according to a new study.

Babies born at a very low birth weight are more likely to have memory and attention problems when they become adults than babies born at a low to normal weight, according to a study published in the December 6, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Related Articles


"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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Pyhälä, J. Lahti, K. Heinonen, A.-K. Pesonen, S. Strang-Karlsson, P. Hovi, A.-L. Järvenpää, J. G. Eriksson, S. Andersson, E. Kajantie, K. Räikkönen. Neurocognitive abilities in young adults with very low birth weight. Neurology, 2011; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31823b473e

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Memory and attention problems may follow preemies into adulthood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205165106.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2011, December 6). Memory and attention problems may follow preemies into adulthood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205165106.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Memory and attention problems may follow preemies into adulthood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205165106.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

BuzzFeed (Jan. 23, 2015) — Dating is now speed-dating... or studying. Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins