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Developmental, neurologic problems common in extremely preterm,,infants,,

Extremely preterm infants born before 25 weeks' gestation often have severe neurologic and developmental disabilities, researchers report in the August 10th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.The EPICure Study Group identified 308 children born at the gestational age of 25 weeks or earlier in the UK and Ireland. Of these, 283 were assessed for neurologic function Based on their lower scores on the Mental and Psychomotor Development Indexes compared with a population mean, 19% were classified as severely disabled, while 11% were classified as having "other disability." In addition, 10% of the children had severe neuromotor disability, and another 14% had other neuromotor disabilities. Most of the disabilities were cerebral palsy. Also, 2% of the children were blind or only perceived light, and 3% had hearing loss.

Overall, 49% of the children had a disability, according to the investigators, and 23% were classified as severely disabled.

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