Are multidisciplinary neurodevelopmental profiles of children born very preterm at age 2 relevant to their long-term development? A preliminary study

Inge L. van Noort-van der Spek*, Lottie W. Stipdonk, André Goedegebure, Jeroen Dudink, Sten Willemsen, Irwin K.M. Reiss, Marie Christine J.P. Franken

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

To identify distinctive multidisciplinary neurodevelopmental profiles of relatively healthy children born very preterm (VPT) and describe the longitudinal course of these profiles up to age 10. At 2 years of corrected age, 84 children born VPT underwent standardized testing for cognitive, language, speech, motor, behavioral, and auditory nerve function. These data were submitted to factor and cluster analysis. Sixty-one of these children underwent cognitive, language, and behavioral assessment again at age 10. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze longitudinal trajectories for each profile. Four neurodevelopmental profiles were identified at age 2. Profile 1 children (n = 22/26%) had excellent cognitive-language-motor function, normal behavioral and auditory nerve function, but showed an unexpected severe decline up to age 10. Profile 2 children (n = 16/19%) had very low behavioral function, low cognitive-language-motor function, and accelerated auditory nerve function. Their scores remained low up until age 10. Profile 3 children (n = 17/20%) had delayed auditory nerve function, low behavioral function, and slightly lower cognitive-language-motor function. They showed the most increasing trajectory. Profile 4 children (n = 29/35%) had very low cognitive-language-motor function, normal behavioral and auditory nerve function, but showed wide variation in their trajectory. Our preliminary study showed that a multidisciplinary profile-oriented approach may be important in children born VPT to improve counseling and provide targeted treatment for at risk children. High performers at age 2 may not be expected to maintain their favorable development. Behavioral problems might negatively impact language development. Delayed auditory nerve function might represent a slow start and catch-up development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-457
Number of pages21
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Volume28
Issue number4
Early online date2 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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