NON-RIGHT HANDEDNESS AMONG ELBW AND TERM CHILDREN AT EIGHT YEARS IN RELATION TO COGNITIVE FUNCTION AND SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
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The relationship between handedness, neurological and cognitive deficits, and school difficulties was investigated in 114 extremely low-birthweight (ELBW) children and 145 term controls at eight years. The prevalence of non-right handedness (left and mixed) was 31 per cent for ELBW children and 19 per cent for controls. ELBW children with neurological impairments were significantly more likely to be non-right handed. No significant differences were noted between right-handed and non-right handed ELBW children and controls on tests of cognitive function, school performance and prevalence of learning difficulties. These findings suggest an association between neurological impairment and non-right handedness, but do not support the hypothesis of early brain insult resulting in subtle cognitive deficits and suboptimal school performance among non-right handed ELBW children.
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