Research reveals Covid affects the unborn children

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
New Delhi, India Updated: Jun 06, 2022, 04:04 PM(IST)

The analysis, which was presented at the 30th European Congress of Psychiatry in Budapest also pointed out that infants born from infected mothers also had significant difficulty in controlling their shoulder and head movements. This in particular suggests that Covid affects motor functions. Photograph:( Others )

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Researchers have found that babies born to COVID-19 infected mothers have exhibited neurodevelopmental outcomes at the age of six weeks

Coronavirus is here to stay. It's been more than two years since the virus emerged as the bane of all of our lives. Now, new research has revealed that the virus is even affecting unborn babies. Researchers have found that babies born to COVID-19 infected mothers have exhibited neurodevelopmental outcomes at the age of six weeks. Such babies exhibited increased difficulty in relaxing and adapting their bodies while being held as compared to babies born to non-infected women. The analysis, which was presented at the 30th European Congress of Psychiatry in Budapest also pointed out that infants born from infected mothers also had significant difficulty in controlling their shoulder and head movements. This in particular suggests that Covid affects motor functions.

However, Dr Rosa Ayesa Arriola of the Marques de Valdecilla University Hospital in Spain pointed out that not all babies show neurodevelopmental differences.

"Our data shows that their risk is increased in comparison to those not exposed to Covid in the womb. We need a bigger study to confirm the exact extent of the difference."

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The initial study compared 21 infants born to COVID-19 infected mothers to 21 born to healthy mothers.

As part of the test, mothers had to undergo a battery of assessments, this includes biochemical tests, along with psychological questionnaires during and after pregnancy.

Post-natally NBAS or Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale was also conducted to measure the baby's movement and behaviour.

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"We found that certain elements of the NBAS measurement were changed in 6-week-old infants who had been exposed to the SARS-COV-2 virus. Effectively they react slightly differently to being held, or cuddled," said Agueda Castro Quintas from the University of Barcelona.

Another member of the research team, Dr Livio Provenzi pointed to the importance and the need for further study of the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on parents and infants. 

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"Pregnancy is a period of life which shapes much of our subsequent development, and exposure to adversity in pregnancy can leave long-lasting biological footprints."

(With inputs from agencies)

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