PANDA - PORTO-Associated Neuro Developmental Assessment study

Research indicates that children who experienced intrauterine growth restriction are at increased risk of neurodevelopmental delay, academic difficulties, health complications, and reduced physical growth. However, few studies have measured the early childhood neurodevelopmental profile of growth-restricted children. The PANDA study (PORTO-Associated Neuro Developmental Assessment study) is a large-scale multi-centre observational prospective neurodevelopmental follow-up study of growth-restricted children at three years of age following their involvement in the initial PORTO study (Prospective Observational Trial to Optimise Paediatric Health in IUGR). The PORTO study was conducted from 2010 to 2012 in seven maternity hospitals across the island of Ireland, recruiting approximately 1,100 women.

In the PORTO study, a set of detailed ultrasound measurements were taken, and the baby’s medical status and condition following delivery were recorded. Now that these children are turning three, we are conducting neurodevelopmental, psychosocial, and anthropometric follow-up, primarily with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire and the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development. The study will also examine the potential influence of maternal antenatal stress on fetal growth and early neurodevelopment.

To date, ethical approval in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has been secured, and researchers are collecting Ages and Stages Questionnaire data and conducting developmental assessments. The study will finish data collection in November 2015, and analysis will be complete by August 2016.