Objective: To investigate the long-term neuropsychological consequences of perinatal asphyxia (PA).
Methods: A group of adolescents were assessed with antecedents of mild (n = 8) and moderate (n = 20) PA, and a matched group of 28 healthy adolescents as a control group. Neuropsychological assessment included tests of memory, perceptual-motor skills, and frontal lobe functions, because these are areas of cognitive functioning susceptible to hypoxic conditions.
Results: Subjects with moderate PA showed significant differences from the control group on tests related to delayed recall for both verbal and visual information, perceptual-motor speed, and tests assessing attention and executive functions. Conversely, subjects in the mild PA group exhibited scores which were similar to those of the control group in all the assessed variables.
Conclusion: The present findings demonstrate that subtle but persistent neuropsychological deficits were observed in adolescents with antecedents of moderate PA, but not in those classified with mild asphyxia.