Newly discovered dendritic action potentials amplify power of the brain
When they were 4 to 8 months or 9 to 18 months of age, the infants' neurodevelopment was evaluated using two validated tools, the Warner Initial Developmental Evaluation of Adaptive and Functional Skills (a 50-item test of such skills as self-care, mobility, communication and social cognition) and the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (a motor examination of infants in prone, supine, sitting and standing positions). Some infants were assessed during each time point.
Women participating in the study were highly motivated, with 91% following up with appointments, even if it meant traveling hours by bus. In addition to Children's National faculty traveling to Colombia to train staff how to administer the screening instruments, videotaped assessments, MRIs and ultrasounds were read, analyzed and scored at Children's National. According to the study team, the U.S. scoring of Alberta Infant Motor Scale tests administered in Colombia is also unprecedented for a research study and offers the potential of remote scoring of infants' motor skill maturity in regions of the world where pediatric specialists, like child neurologists, are lacking.
"Normally, neurodevelopment in infants and toddlers continues for years, building a sturdy neural network that they later use to carry out complex neurologic and cognitive functions as children enter school," Dr. Mulkey adds. "Our findings underscore the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all infants exposed to Zika in the womb undergo long-term follow-up, providing an opportunity to intervene earlier." Source:
Children's National Hospital Journal reference:
Mulkey, S.B., et al. (2020) Neurodevelopmental Abnormalities in Children With In Utero Zika Virus Exposure Without Congenital Zika Syndrome. JAMA Pediatrics . doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.5204 .
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