A longitudinal study of early intellectual development in hemiplegic children

Neuropsychologia. 1997 Mar;35(3):289-98. doi: 10.1016/s0028-3932(96)00079-6.


Thirty-eight 3- to 5-year-old children with unilateral lesions sustained pre- or peri-natally were studied longitudinally over a 2-year period, and their IQ scores compared with those of 20 "medical' controls. The failure to discover laterality effects following early unilateral injury supports the hypothesis of at least broad functional equipotentiality. There were few decrements in intellectual functioning provided the injury was not accompanied by seizures. The presence of seizures in contrast had a deleterious effect on both verbal and nonverbal aspects of cognitive functioning. While the IQs of the hemiplegic groups showed considerable stability over the 2-year span of the study, there was evidence that performance IQ, even in seizure-free patients, might be selectively impaired because of competition within the intact neural space for the sparing of verbal IQ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hemiplegia / complications*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / physiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Seizures / complications*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Wechsler Scales