Background and aims Some studies have shown that being born SGA is related to reduced intellectual capacity, learning difficulties and poor school performance. Earlier findings have been diverted, and there are few longitudinal studies that have used a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. Aim of study was to look at how young adults born SGA perform on a variety of neuropsychological tests, and to see whether they have problems of specific or general origin.
Methods Population-based follow-up study at age 19 of 59 term-born SGA (birth weight< 10th centile, mean: 2915g) and 81 controls (birth weight>10th centile, mean: 3707g). One participant in the SGA group had cerebral palsy and was excluded from analysis.
A standardized neuropsychological test battery was used to assess several functions: memory, language, attention, executive functions and visual-motor integration.
Results The SGA-group performed significantly poorer than controls (p<0.01) on several tests. These were tests assessing memory; (Wechsler memory scale-III: auditive immediate memory and mental control), attention (Trail making test), executive functions (Design fluency) and visual-motor-integration (Motor coordination test). The groups did not differ in visual memory tasks, long term memory, language functions and several other attention/executive tasks.
Conclusions Our results suggest that young adults born SGA have specific neuropsychological difficulties, especially problems with auditive learning, eye-hand-coordination, and they are slower at performing and initiating tasks compared to controls. This might further indicate that children born SGA can be in need of special education in school.
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