During the last decade we have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of premature labors followed by an increase in the survival rate of premature babies. Therefore, there is an increase in the general morbidity in the premature infant population, especially in the long term morbidity. Very low birth weight infants suffer from severe disabilities, but we found that even if they are healthy as a group, they suffer from a larger proportion of developmental difficulties in comparison to the general population. Their academic, social and behavioral achievements are lower as a group than full term AGA infants. The source of the developmental risk factors is both biological and environmental in origin. It is hypothesized that the source of these risk factors is at least partially due to differences in the development of specific brain areas such as the hippocampus. Since premature infants and especially very low birth weight infants suffer from developmental risks, and since early intervention can alter their development, it is imperative that these infants should be evaluated, followed-up and treated as soon as possible, starting from the hospital discharge through their childhood.
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - 1 Nov 2004|
- Preterm infants
- Very low birth weight