Children who experience stroke around the pre-school age have the best chance at full recovery, an Australian research published on Wednesday said.
The study, published by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), was the first of its kind to examine the motor function of children, who have suffered a stroke over a 12-month period.
Three groups of children were studied; neonates up to one-month-old, pre-schoolers aged three to four and children aged five to six.
The children were studied shortly after suffering a stroke as well as one month later, six months later and 12 months later.
Researchers found that children who experienced a stroke around the pre-school age were most likely to make the best recovery.
Anna Cooper, the lead researcher, said that pre-schoolers performed better than school-aged children at all stages of the study.
She said that children aged three and four years old had the best balance between brain plasticity and acquired skills.
“With adults we know there is a critical window between three and six months after stroke where they have an optimal time for recovery,” Cooper told Australian media.
“But we found this doesn’t apply to children. We didn’t see a plateau in any of the age groups, instead their abilities constantly changed over the year.”
Researchers found that neonatal children and later in childhood suffered similar implications on their motor skills as adults.
“The problems are quite similar to those seen in the elderly – motor, speech and cognitive impairments which limit children’s participation in normal daily activities such as school, sport and socialising impacting them across their lifetime, even into adulthood,” Cooper said.
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