Les bébés exposés au Covid-19 avant leur naissance peuvent présenter des changements neurodéveloppementaux.

According to a new study, babies whose mothers contracted Covid-19 during pregnancy are more likely to have neurodevelopmental changes, including motor disorders.

Contracting Covid-19 during pregnancy is not not without risks for the unborn baby. According to a preliminary analysis of theEuropean Psychiatric Association presented at 30e European Congress of Psychiatry, babies exposed to the virus during their mother’s pregnancy would present differences in neurodevelopmental outcomes at six weeks.

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Not all babies born to Covid-infected mothers have neurodevelopmental differences, but our data shows their risk is increased compared to those who are not exposed to Covid-19 in the womb“, indicated Dr. Rosa Ayesa Arriola, leader of the study.

In particular, the researchers noted that infants born to previously infected mothers had more difficulty relaxing when worn in their arms and had less control over their head and neck movements. These data would imply that infection with Covid-19 could affect the baby’s motor skills. “We found that some elements of the NBAS measure (neonatal behavioral assessment) were altered in 6-week-old infants who had been exposed to the SARS-COV-2 virus. Indeed, they react slightly differently when held or cuddled.“, specifies Prof. Águeda Castro Quintas of the University of Barcelona.

Continue to follow infants between 18 and 42 months

To arrive at these results, the researchers compared babies born to 21 Covid-19 positive pregnant women and 21 healthy controls. They underwent a whole battery of tests during their pregnancy, including hormonal and biochemical tests, saliva tests as well as movement responses and psychological questionnaires. And while the project has so far focused on results at six weeks after birth, its aim is to continue to observe longer-term effects and researchers will monitor the language and motor development of infants between 18 and 42 months.

Of course, in babies this young, there are several things that we simply cannot measure, such as language skills or cognition. We must also be aware that it isa relatively small sample, so we repeat the work and we will follow it for a longer period. We need a larger sample to determine the role of infection on neurodevelopmental alterations in offspring and the contribution of other environmental factors.”concludes co-researcher Nerea San Martín González.

While waiting for more results, the researchers stressed the importance of medical follow-up “to facilitate a healthy pregnancy, discussing any concerns with your doctor if necessary”.

Source :

  • Babies exposed to Covid in the womb show neurodevelopmental changes, European Psychiatric AssociationJune 6, 2022

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