Over the past decade, evidence has emerged that children growing up after neonatal critical illness, irrespective of underlying diagnosis, are at risk of memory impairment and academic problems. These difficulties are manifest even when intelligence is within the normal range. In this Review, we propose a common neurodevelopmental pathway following neonatal critical illness by showing that survivors of preterm birth, congenital heart disease, and severe respiratory failure share an increased risk of long-term memory deficits and associated hippocampal alterations. Rather than a consequence of underlying diagnosis, we suggest that this shared vulnerability is probably related to common conditions associated with neonatal critical illness, including hypoxia, neuroinflammation, stress, exposure to anaesthetics, or a complex interplay of these factors at different postconceptional ages. Future work should be aimed at improvement of early identification of patients at risk and evaluation of intervention modalities, such as exercise or cognitive training.

doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(17)30180-3, hdl.handle.net/1765/105267
The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health

Schiller, R., IJsselstijn, H., Hoskote, A., White, T., Verhulst, F., van Heijst, A., & Tibboel, D. (2018). Memory deficits following neonatal critical illness. The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health (Vol. 2, pp. 281–289). doi:10.1016/S2352-4642(17)30180-3