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Memory deficits following neonatal critical illness: a common neurodevelopmental pathway

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  • Raisa Schiller
  • Hanneke IJsselstijn
  • Aparna Hoskote
  • Frank Verhulst
  • Arno van Heijst
  • Dick Tibboel
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Over the past decade, evidence has emerged that children growing up after neonatal critical illness, irrespective of
underlying diagnosis, are at risk of memory impairment and academic problems. These difficulties are manifest even
when intelligence is within the normal range. In this Review, we propose a common neurodevelopmental pathway
following neonatal critical illness by showing that survivors of preterm birth, congenital heart disease, and severe
respiratory failure share an increased risk of long-term memory deficits and associated hippocampal alterations. Rather than a consequence of underlying diagnosis, we suggest that this shared vulnerability is probably related to
common conditions associated with neonatal critical illness, including hypoxia, neuroinflammation, stress, exposure to anaesthetics, or a complex interplay of these factors at different postconceptional ages. Future work should be
aimed at improvement of early identification of patients at risk and evaluation of intervention modalities, such as exercise or cognitive training.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Volume2
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
ISSN2352-4642
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

ID: 52399904