In Phase 2 of the ELGAN Study, we want to find out why some children born especially early have difficulties succeeding in school, while others do not. Understanding what happened to some children may help us prevent learning difficulties in future generations of babies born so early.
The majority of children born especially early have learning abilities similar to those of children born at the expected time. In general, the earlier the birth, the more likely it is that a child will have a learning difficulty. Preterm newborns can have difficulties with attention, behavior, language or spatial relations. They can also have difficulties socializing, organizing their thoughts, or putting into action the information they actually know.
The current phase of the ELGAN Research Study has 4 goals:
1. To understand better how often and to what degree children do well or struggle to learn.
2. To better understand what aspects of learning are most likely to be affected in these children.
3. To see to what extent particular patterns of abnormality on brain MRI scans correlate with particular learning problems in some of the children.
4. To see how much information about the risk of learning problems is contained in babies’ blood during the first two weeks of life.
With the help the participants have provided, and will provide by returning for the school-age assessment, we may be able to achieve these goals.