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One in eight children in India aged 2–9 may have neurodevelopmental disorders


1 in 8 kids in 2–9 age group may have devel­op­men­tal deficits  (Times of India):

Almost one in eight Indi­an chil­dren aged two to nine may have at least one neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­der, states a study pub­lished in PLOS Med­i­cine jour­nal on Wednes­day.

Neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders include a wide range of issues rang­ing from visu­al and hear­ing impair­ment to autism and learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.

The study is among the first to look at a wide preva­lence of such dis­or­ders. Con­duct­ed by Naren­dra K Aro­ra of the Del­hi-based INCLEN Trust Inter­na­tion­al, the PLOS Med­i­cine study looked at 4,000 chil­dren across five cities for hear­ing impair­ment, speech and lan­guage dis­or­ders, autism spec­trum dis­or­ders, and intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty. It found that hear­ing impair­ment and intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty are the most com­mon prob­lems in India…

If it is scary to real­ize that one in eight chil­dren has some form of neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal issue, it is scari­er to know that India has no stan­dard method to iden­ti­fy or treat such chil­dren,” said Dr Samir Dal­wai of Indi­an Acad­e­my of Pedi­atrics.

The Study:

Neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders in chil­dren aged 2–9 years: Pop­u­la­tion-based bur­den esti­mates across five regions in India (PLOS Med­i­cine). From the abstract:

  • Back­ground: Neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders (NDDs) com­pro­mise the devel­op­ment and attain­ment of full social and eco­nom­ic poten­tial at indi­vid­ual, fam­i­ly, com­mu­ni­ty, and coun­try lev­els. Pauci­ty of data on NDDs slows down pol­i­cy and pro­gram­mat­ic action in most devel­op­ing coun­tries despite per­ceived high bur­den.
  • Meth­ods and find­ings: We assessed 3,964 chil­dren (with almost equal num­ber of boys and girls dis­trib­uted in 2–<6 and 6–9 year age cat­e­gories) iden­ti­fied from five geo­graph­i­cal­ly diverse pop­u­la­tions in India using clus­ter sam­pling tech­nique (prob­a­bil­i­ty pro­por­tion­ate to pop­u­la­tion size)…The study sam­ple was under­rep­re­sen­ta­tive of stunt­ing and LBW and had a 15.6% refusal. These fac­tors could be con­tribut­ing to under­es­ti­ma­tion of the true NDD bur­den in our pop­u­la­tion.
  • Con­clu­sions: The study iden­ti­fies NDDs in chil­dren aged 2–9 years as a sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic health bur­den for India. HI was high­er than and ASD preva­lence com­pa­ra­ble to the pub­lished glob­al lit­er­a­ture. Most risk fac­tors of NDDs were mod­i­fi­able and amenable to pub­lic health inter­ven­tions.

The Study in Context:

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning

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