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Year: 2014  Vol. 18   Num. 3  - Julyy/Sept
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1366976
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Original Article
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Language in Children with Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
Author(s):
Chenia Martinez, Luciana Carneiro, Luza Vernier, Carla Cesa, Ana Guardiola, Deisi Vidor
Key words:
language development - hypoxia - brain - brain ischemia - neurology - speech - language - and hearing sciences
Abstract:

Introduction: Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (NHIE) is a common neurologic injury, and it may compromise the child's language and cognition. Understanding the process of language acquisition becomes possible with concise knowledge about children's global development.

Objective: The aim of this study was to observe if language acquisition and development are impaired in children with NHIE.

Methods: Seventy children with NHIE from 1 to 24 months old were analyzed in a Pediatric Neurology Service of Hospital of Porto Alegre, South of Brazil using the Brunet-Lezine Scale. Statistical analysis used SPSS 13.0 software.

Results: Twenty-four (60%) of the subjects were boys, with mean gestational age of 35.8 weeks (standard deviation of 4.6) and mean Apgar score of 6.0 at 1 minute and 7.1 at 5 minutes. The variables age versus language showed significant inverse correlation (r =  − 0.566; p = 0.028). As the subjects aged, language tasks became more specific and dependent on the subject's direct action, rather than the subjective interpretation of their guardian. This correlation seems to be closely associated with scale configuration and with consequences of neurologic disorder, evincing the delays in language development.

Conclusion: This study achieved the goals proposed and highlights the necessity of greater attention by professionals to language skills during the initial period of child development.

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