Poverty may slightly increase childhood risk of neurological impairment, NIH study suggests

(Source – National Institutes of Health)

Children from low income environments appear to have a higher risk of neurological impairment than those from more economically secure circumstances, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. This neurological impairment appears to be distinct from the risk of cognitive and emotional delays known to accompany early-life poverty.

In most cases, the level of neurological impairment the researchers found would not be apparent to a casual observer. That level could, however, increase, the risk for childhood learning difficulties, attention deficit disorders and psychological conditions such as anxiety disorders and schizophrenia.

“The size of the effect we saw was modest,” said the study’s senior author, Stephen Gilman, Sc.D., acting chief of the Health Behavior Branch at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). “However, the findings do indicate that an impoverished environment may pose a hazard for a child’s developing nervous system.” Read more…

 

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