Long term neurological dysfunction and neonatal hypoglycaemia after diabetic pregnancy

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Abstract

Aim

To determine if children born to mothers with diabetes mellitus during pregnancy, who subsequently developed neonatal hypoglycaemia, experienced long term neurological dysfunction.

Methods

Thirteen children with, and 15 without, neonatal hypoglycaemia (blood glucose < 1.5 mmol/l) were randomly selected from a larger cohort and investigated at the age of 8 years. They were also compared with 28 age matched healthy controls.

Results

Children with neonatal hypoglycaemia had significantly more difficulties in a validated screening test for minimal brain dysfunction than controls and were also more often reported to be hyperactive, impulsive, and easily distracted. On psychological assessment, they had a lower total development score than normoglycaemic children born to diabetic mothers, and control children.

Conclusions

Neonatal hypoglycaemia in diabetic pregnancy was associated with long term neurological dysfunction related to minimal brain dysfunction/deficits in attention, motor control, and perception.

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