Neuropsychological Profile of Treated Children with Congenital Toxoplasmosis


Background: Very little is known about the long-term neuropsychological outcomes of infants who were treated with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine for congenital Toxoplasma infection. This study investigated the neurocognitive functioning and behavior of a cohort of treated infants exposed to Toxoplasma gondii in the 1994-1995 outbreak in Victoria, British Columbia. Methods: Ten infants from the original cohort, treated with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine starting during first year of life and continuing for 12 months, were evaluated at 7 to 8.5 years of age. Neuropsychological evaluations focused on the cognitive, academic, adaptive, and behavioral functioning of these children. Results: The cohort demonstrated generally average neurocognitive abilities and academic achievement. According to parental ratings, the children’s executive functions, behavior and adaptive functioning did not differ significantly from the normative population. However, subtle difficulties were seen on more demanding sustained attention and impulse control tasks. Conclusions: These results suggest favorable outcomes in infants who were treated for one year with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine. Nonetheless, congenital toxoplasmosis might contribute to some difficulties with higher-order cognitive abilities or tasks demanding greater self-monitoring. These difficulties could become more pronounced as higher demands for these abilities and brain areas come online during late childhood and adolescence. These findings highlight the importance of effective treatment and longitudinal follow-up of children with congenital toxoplasmosis.

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Kerns, K. , Mish, S. , Roberts, J. & Jagdis, F. (2014). Neuropsychological Profile of Treated Children with Congenital Toxoplasmosis. Psychology, 5, 1079-1089. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.59120.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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