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Effects of Maternal Worm Infections and Anthelminthic Treatment during Pregnancy on Infant Motor and Neurocognitive Functioning

Nampijja, Margaret and Apule, Barbara and Lule, Swaib and Akurut, Hellen and Muhangi, Lawrence and Webb, Emily L and Lewis, Charlie and Elliott, Alison M and Alcock, Katie J (2012) Effects of Maternal Worm Infections and Anthelminthic Treatment during Pregnancy on Infant Motor and Neurocognitive Functioning. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS, 18 (6). pp. 1019-1030. ISSN 1469-7661

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Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that maternal worm infections in pregnancy affect infant motor and neurocognitive development, and that anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy can reverse these effects. We used measures which examine infant motor, cognitive and executive function, including inhibition. We assessed 983 Ugandan infants aged 15 months, using locally appropriate measures within the Entebbe Mother and Baby Study, a trial of anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy. Key exposures were maternal worm infections and anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy. Effects of other health and social factors were controlled for statistically. Of the five major worm species found in the pregnant women, two had influences on the developmental measures: Maternal Mansonella perstans and Strongyloides stercoralis infections showed negative associations with the A-not B-task, and Language, respectively. Performance on other psychomotor and cognitive measures was associated with illnesses during infancy and infants' behavior during assessment, but not with maternal worm infections. There were no positive effects of maternal anthelminthic treatment on infant abilities. Mansonella perstans and Strongyloides stercoralis infection during pregnancy seem associated with impaired early executive function and language, respectively, but single-dose anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy was not beneficial. The biological mechanisms that could underlie these neurocognitive effects are discussed. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1019-1030).

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS
Additional Information: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=INS The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 18, (6) pp 1019-1030 2012, © 2012 Cambridge University Press.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pregnancy ; Helminths ; De-worming ; Infancy ; Psychomotor ; Executive function
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: UNSPECIFIED
ID Code: 60205
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2012 11:47
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2014 15:07
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/60205

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