VoICE Immunization Evidence: Cognition
A large longitudinal study in the Philippines found that children suffering bouts of diarrhea and respiratory infections were at a significantly increased risk of physical stunting which is associated with “poor functional outcomes such as impaired cognitive development.”
Children in a Brazilian Shantytown with a high incidence of diarrhea in the first two years of life scored significantly lower on 3/5 types of tests measuring cognitive function at ages 6-10 compared to children who did not suffer recurrent bouts of early childhood diarrhea.
A study analyzing the long-term consequences of middle ear disease in children in an urban health center and a private practice in the United States found that time spent with middle ear effusion during the first 3 years of life was significantly associated with lower school performance and lower scores in cognitive ability, speech, and language.
Survivors of pneumococcal meningitis frequently suffer from cognitive impairment and neurological sequelae.
In The Gambia, 58% of children who survived a bout of pneumococcal meningitis “had clinical sequelae; half of them had major disability preventing normal adaptation to social life” (mental retardation, hearing loss, motor abnormalities, seizures).
In a systematic literature review of studies in Africa, it was found that one quarter of children who survived pneumococcal or Hib meningitis had neuropsychological deficits.