Clinical problems in neurodevelopmental diagnosis: a 7-year neurological and psychological follow-up study of low risk preterm infants.

E. Fedrizzi, M. L. Zuccarino, P. Vizziello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

24 selected urban middle class low risk preterm infants and 10 full term infants have been followed up to the age of 7 years in a prospective neurodevelopmental study. The aim was to find out whether the neurological and behavioral peculiarities of the preterm infant fall within the range of variability of sign and function development or whether they are the clinical features of minor neurological dysfunction. The infants were assessed neurologically according to Amiel-Tison at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of corrected age and by Touwen's examination for minor neurological dysfunction at 3, 5 and 7 years. They were assessed psychologically at 6, 9, 12 and 36 months on Griffiths' Developmental Scale and at 7 years on the Wechsler Bellevue Scale. 33% of the sample was lost to follow-up. The outcome of neurological assessment was as follows: no major sequelae such as cerebral palsy or mental deficiency; 50% had transient neurological anomalies (TNA) during the first year of life, lasting more than 6 months in 16.7%; no minor neurological dysfunctions were detected at 5 and 7 years but the non optimal signs scores were higher in infants of low gestational age. The scores on the Griffiths scale were poorer in the preterm infants between 6 months and 5 years of corrected age, especially in the performance and hearing-speech areas. Performance failures seemed to be related to the duration and type of TNA in the first year of life. General, verbal and performance quotients on the WISC at 7 years were normal and there were no learning or behavior problems. The mild TNA found in low risk preterm infants in the first year of life appear to be of no predictive value for school age problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalItalian Journal of Neurological Sciences
VolumeSuppl 5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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