32% of children who were exposed to the Zika Virus during their mother’s pregnancy have neurological problems

Zika Virus

New research led by UCLA revealed that 32 percent of children of 3 years old or below that who were exposed to the Zika Virus during their mother’s pregnancy had less than average neurological development.

It was also found by the study that less than 4 percent of 216 children analyzed had microcephaly which is smaller than the normal size of the head that is one of the hallmarks of the mosquito-borne disease. According to the research, the heads of 2 of those children grew to normal size over time.

The findings which were conducted by the UCLA-led researchers along with colleagues in Brazil, where there was the first detection of the disease, as well as, in Germany & Australia, are a follow up to a previously conducted research.

That study exhibited significant neurologic damage identified through the developmental testing & neuroimaging in children who were younger than age 2 whose mothers got infected with Zika during their pregnancies.

A professor of Clinical Pediatrics at UCLA, Doctor Karin Nielsen Saines stated that those children who were exposed to Zika during pregnancy of their mothers need to have developmental assessments over time, and hearing and eye exams should be performed. If there is any sort of risk of developmental delay, or developmental delay is identified, there are language, cognitive, and behavior interventions that can be put in place in order to improve outcomes for these children.

146 children were tested by the researchers employing the Bayley-III test, which is an advanced neurodevelopmental assessment that checks cognitive, language, and motor development. They used the Hammersmith Infant Neurologic Evaluation, or HINE, on the 70 other children whose parents did not want to take their children in for the lengthy Bayley-III.

It was found by the researchers that in the Bayley-III group, 14   tested for cognitive development, 51 children tested for language, and 24 evaluated for motor development scored below average. Of the HINE group, 67 showed normal results & 3 children had abnormal results.

Moreover, 14 of 114 children who had auditory checks had hearing problems & 10 out of 137 children who had eye exams revealed abnormal results.