Meningitis link with behaviour problems

Babies who have meningitis are more likely to develop behavioural
problems as teenagers than other babies, new research suggests.

In a survey of parents by the Imperial College of Medicine, nearly
half of those whose children had been affected by meningococcal
disease said they had behavioural problems, compared with one in
five of parents whose children had not.

Parents were asked about their children’s emotional problems,
behaviour, hyperactivity, peer problems and social skills, using a
recognised child behaviour scale. Parents and teachers were also
asked what impact this had on the child’s behaviour at home and in
the classroom.

Nearly half of the 739 parents whose children had meningitis before
their first birthday said their child’s behaviour was problematic,
compared with only 20 per cent of the 606 children who had not had
the disease.

Teachers said more than a third of those who had had meningitis in
infancy were “difficult”, compared with 23 per cent who had not.

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