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Assessment of neurodisability and malnutrition in children in Africa

GLADSTONE, Melissa
MALLEWA, Mac
ALUSINE JALLOH, Alhaji
VOSJUIKL, Wieger
POSTELS, Douglas
GROCE, Nora
KERAC, Marco
MOLYNEUX, Elizabeth
March 2014

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Neurodevelopmental delay, neurodisability, and malnutrition interact to contribute a significant burden of disease in global settings. Assessments which are well integrated with plans of management or advice are most likely to improve outcomes. Assessment tools used in clinical research and programming to evaluate outcomes include developmental and cognitive tools that vary in complexity, sensitivity, and validity as well as the target age of assessment. Few tools have been used to measure socioemotional outcomes and fewer to assess the disabled child with malnutrition. There is a paucity of tools used clinically which actually provide families and professionals with advice to improve outcomes. Brain imaging, electroencephalography, audiology, and visual assessment can also be used to assess the effect of malnutrition on brain structure and function. The interaction of neurodisability and malnutrition is powerful, and both need to be considered when assessing children.

Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, Child Neurology in Africa, Volume 21, Issue 1, March 2014, Pages 50–57

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