This study assessed the effects of cerebral malaria (CM) and severe malarial anemia (SMA) on individual neurocognitive domains. Eighty children with CM, 86 with SMA, and 61 community children (CC) were assessed for gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual reception, receptive language, and expressive language a week after discharge (CM or SMA) or at enrolment (CC), and 6 and 12 months later. At 12-months follow-up, children with CM had significantly lower scores than CC for all outcomes. Children with SMA had significantly lower scores than CC for visual reception, receptive language, and expressive language, and scores that were lower but did not reach significance for gross and fine motor skills. Children with CM had significantly lower scores than children with SMA for fine motor skills. Children with SMA and CM have long-term impairment in multiple neurocognitive domains. Fine motor skills may be affected more profoundly in CM than SMA.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant number R01NS055349 ) and the Fogarty International Center (grant number D43 NS078280 ). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The funding source had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication.
- Cerebral malaria
- Neurocognitive deficits
- Severe malarial anemia