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Gerd Viggedal, Eva Lundalv, Goran Carlsson, Ingemar Kjellmer
Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(1): CR8-16
Background:The aim of the study was to investigate whether children born small for gestational age without other complications nor signs of neurological impairment or developmental delay before 18 months of age may display neuropsychological impairments later in life.Material/Methods: Neuropsychological outcome, school achievement, and social adjustment in young adulthood (21–28 years of age) were investigated in a prospectively followed group of 17 children born small for gestational age (SGA) and compared with 30 controls born with appropriate weight. A questionnaire including items about highest education, present social situation, and self-estimation of health was conducted. A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of the main aspects of cognitive function was performed in 12 young adults from the SGA group and compared with 18 subjects selected as normal controls. Intelligence, verbal functions, visuo-spatial and visuo-constructive functions, learning and memory of words and figures, attention, lateral preference, motor functions, and cognitive adaptive functions were investigated.Results: The young adults born SGA displayed lower intelligence quotients, specifically reduced verbal comprehension and deficits in figurative learning and memory functions, compared with normal controls. No differences in educational achievement and social adjustment were found. Neither were any differences observed in maternal education levels.Conclusions: Infants born SGA display a reduced cognitive capacity at young adult age compared with controls. However, this lower capacity is not considered sufficiently severe to affect educational level or social adjustment.