Brazilian Study Assesses Developmental Delays in Children with Congenital Zika Syndrome

From Contagion Live
May 5, 2020

As children born in 2015 and 2016 with congenital Zika syndrome age, investigators are gradually able to assess neurodevelopmental outcomes.

The team behind a recent study published in JAMA Network Open observed substantial developmental delays at ages 2-3 years across all areas evaluated. The investigators also found that severity of microcephaly at birth was significantly associated with the severity of these developmental delays.

The study was a case series of behavioral and medical needs of 121 young children with serologic confirmation of congenital Zika syndrome . Children were assessed at a rehabilitation center in the Brazilian city of Recife, starting in January of 2018 and intended to continue for a 5-year total longitudinal term.

The comprehensive assessment was based on the Brazilian edition of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, administered by trained specialists. Interviews with caregivers and reviews of medical records provided basic demographic information and comorbid medical conditions.

The median age of participants was 31.2 months. The gender distribution was 58 boys and 61 girls. Out of 121 children, 99 children had microcephaly at birth with 74 cases classified as severe. A majority of participants, between n106 to 118, scored at the floor of 1 or more scales. There was, however, variability on raw and age-equivalent scores. A standard score of 55 for the cognitive domain was assigned to children with raw scores between 1-42, for example.

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