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The Precise-DYAD Neurodevelopmental substudy protocol: neurodevelopmental risk in children of mothers with placental complications.

Magai DN, Chandna J, Volvert ML, Craik R, Jah H, Kongira F, Bojang K, Koech A, Mwashigadi G, Mutua AM, Blencowe H, D'Alessandro U, Roca A, Temmerman M, von Dadelszen P, Abubakar A, Gladstone MJ

  • Published 10 Nov 2023

  • Volume 8

  • Pagination 508

  • DOI 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.19689.1


Background: Over 250 million children are not reaching their developmental potential globally. The impact of prenatal factors then influenced by postnatal environmental factors on child neurodevelopment, is still unclear—particularly in low- and middle-income settings. This study aims to understand the impact of placental complications as well as environmental, psychosocial, and biological predictors on neurodevelopmental trajectories.

Methods: This is an observational cohort study of female and male children (≈3,950) born to women (≈4,200) with and without placental disorders (pregnancy-induced hypertension, foetal growth restriction, and premature birth) previously recruited into PREgnancy Care Integrating Translational Science, Everywhere study with detailed biological data collected in intrapartum and post-partum periods. Children will be assessed at six weeks to 6 months, 11-13 months, 23-25 months and 35-37 months in rural and semi-urban Gambia (Farafenni, Illiasa, and Ngayen Sanjal) and Kenya (Mariakani and Rabai). We will assess children's neurodevelopment using Prechtls General Movement Assessment, the Malawi Development Assessment Tool (primary outcome), Observation of Maternal-Child Interaction, the Neurodevelopmental Disorder Screening Tool, and the Epilepsy Screening tool. Children screening positive will be assessed with Cardiff cards (vision), Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers Revised, and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Family Impact. We will use multivariate logistic regression analysis to investigate the impact of placental complications on neurodevelopment and conduct structural equation modelling using latent class growth to study trajectories and relationships between biological, environmental, and psychosocial factors on child development.

Conclusions: We aim to provide information regarding the neurodevelopment of infants and children born to women with and without placental complications at multiple time points during the first three years of life in two low-resource African communities. A detailed evaluation of developmental trajectories and their predictors will provide information on the most strategic points of intervention to prevent and reduce the incidence of neurodevelopmental impairments.