Stroke Can Impact a Child's Language, Hand-Eye Coordination

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) — Lower IQs and problems with visual-motor and language skills are common among children who survive an arterial ischemic stroke, according to a new study.

It included 42 childhood stroke survivors who underwent neuropsychological testing at least 10 months after their ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. The testing evaluated their thinking abilities, academic skills, memory, language and visual-motor skills.

Visual-motor skill is the ability to have the eyes and hands work together, such as when writing, using scissors, catching a ball and doing a host of other daily activities.

The children’s average IQ was about 94, which is in the average range but lower than the average for all children (100). The researchers said a more important finding was that the childhood stroke survivors had significantly lower visual-motor function and language scores than other children.

Academic skills and memory were not much lower than normal in the childhood stroke survivors. Stroke type, size or location were not significant predictors of long-term neuropsychological outcome.

The findings indicate that childhood stroke survivors should be thoroughly evaluated for the need for targeted interventions to improve visual-motor and language skills, the researchers said. Future studies should evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions.

The study was to be presented Thursday at the American Stroke Association meeting in New Orleans.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about childhood stroke.