In infants, overall cognitive scores are significantly lower since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic with young infants showing lower performance than infants born before January 2019.
Authors: By EVE YOUNG AUGUST 14, 2021 19:09
Children born during the coronavirus pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor and overall cognitive performance compared to children born before the pandemic, and this discrepancy is particularly pronounced in males, as well as in children in lower socioeconomic families, according to a new study. Researchers believe that this highlights that even in the absence of infection and illness, the pandemic has had a significant, negative impact on infant and child development.In the study, not yet-peer reviewed and uploaded as preprint in medRxiv on Wednesday, researchers examined data from an ongoing longitudinal study of child neurodevelopment, comparing scores in 2020 and 2021 to scores from 2011 to 2019. The researchers found that verbal, non-verbal, and overall cognitive scores are significantly lower since the beginning of the pandemic, with young infants showing significantly lower performance than infants born before January 2019.Researchers stated that “it is clear […] that young infants and children are developing differently than pre-pandemic, and that addressing this now while their brain is at its most plastic and responsive, is imperative,” also saying that it is unclear from the data if observed declines are temporary.