IUGR refers to the poor
growth of a baby while in the mother's womb during pregnancy. The damage caused
by IUGR with respect to ADHD was compared to prematurity, i.e. being born too
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders. It
may continue through the adolescence and into adulthood. Affected children
suffer difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling
behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).
Although most studies
point to genes as the cause for ADHD, the scientific community is yet to figure
out the exact cause. The hypothesis is that a number of factors may be involved
in causing ADHD.
One of the studies on ADHD was performed in Finland to learn
whether it is more detrimental
to be born too early or too small and its relation to symptoms of attention
deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Researchers tested whether preterm birth and small body size at birth adjusted
for gestational age are independently associated with symptoms of ADHD in
A preterm birth is
defined as birth that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation. A premature baby is
susceptible to a multitude of complications. Similarly IUGR increases the risk
for a variety of pregnancy and newborn complications.
The study sample comprised 828 children followed up to 56
. Gestational age was calculated from the
date of the mother's last menstrual period. Data on the weight (measured in
grams) of the newborns were extracted from birth records. These data were used
to assess IUGR. The study results showed that small for
gestational age (those below the mean for weight at birth) status and lower
birth weight scores were associated with higher ADHD symptoms. And this was
independent of gestational age.
restriction reflected in SGA status and lower birth weight, rather than
prematurity or lower gestational age per se, may increase risk for symptoms of ADHD in
, concluded the study.
Ultrasound examinations form a major part of
ante-natal care. Timely imaging scans help doctors to identify birth defects at
the earliest and to do the necessary interventions. Retarded growth of the
fetus has a number of risks associated with it. ADHD is just one among the many
evils that IUGR may lead to.
Central, National Institute of Mental Health -