Pandemic affects children’s motor and communication skills

The lockdowns that caused the pandemic have isolated many young families, robbing them of their playtime and socializing.

The findings, posted on a preprint server and likely soon to appear in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, show that babies born during the pandemic have scores nearly two standard deviations lower than those born in the pandemic. born earlier in a set of tests that measure development in a similar way to IQ tests. .

The team also found that infants from low-income families were most affected, boys were affected more than girls, and gross motor skills were affected the most.

The longer the pandemic lasts, the more deficits children accumulate. “It’s massive – it’s amazing,” said Sean Deoni, a medical biophysicist from the lab.

Although children are generally healthy when infected with SARS-CoV-2, preliminary research also suggests that pandemic-related stress during pregnancy can negatively affect fetal brain development. in some children.

A research team from the University of Calgary in Canada surveyed more than 8,000 pregnant people during the pandemic. Pre-published research shows that babies born to people who report more prenatal anxiety – more symptoms of anxiety or depression – show different structural connections between the amygdala – regions of the brain involved in emotional processing and their prefrontal cortex – an area responsible for executive skills. , the report said.

However, some researchers suggest that many children with developmental delays will be able to catch up without long-term effects. “I didn’t expect that we would find out that there is a generation that has been traumatized by the pandemic,” said Moriah Thomason, a child and adolescent psychologist at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine. this.

Source: IANS


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