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Long-Term Cognitive Development in Children with Prolonged Crying

Written by Pathways Magazine   
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Background: Long-term studies of cognitive development and colic have not differentiated between typical colic and prolonged crying.

Objective: To evaluate whether colic and excessive crying that persists beyond 3 months is associated with adverse cognitive development.

Results: Children with prolonged crying (but not those with colic only) had an adjusted mean IQ that was 9 points lower than the control group. Their performance and verbal IQ scores were 9.2 and 6.7 points lower than the control group, respectively. The prolonged crying group also had significantly poorer fine motor abilities compared with the control group. Colic had no effect on cognitive development.

Conclusions: Excessive, uncontrolled crying that persists beyond 3 months of age in infants without other signs of neurological damage may be a marker for cognitive deficits during childhood. Such infants need to be examined and followed up more intensively.


Pathways Issue 9 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #09.

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