1921
Volume 60, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, treatment trial was conducted in Sichuan, China to investigate the unique and combined effects on the cognitive function (working memory) of children after treating geohelminth infections with albendazole and treating Schistosoma japonicum infection with praziquantel. One hundred eighty-one children 5-16 years of age participated. At baseline, the praziquantel and placebo groups were similar in all background characteristics. Three months after praziquantel treatment, there was a significant reduction in the prevalence and intensity of S. japonicum infection. There were significant age group by praziquantel treatment interaction effects in three of the five cognitive tests, Fluency, Picture Search, and Free Recall, with effects being strongest in the youngest children (5-7 years old). Exploratory analysis within the youngest children showed a significant positive main effect of treatment on Fluency (P < 0.001), after controlling for sex, anthropometric, and parasitic and iron status. There was also a treatment by height-for-age interaction (P = 0.03) and a treatment by iron status interaction (P = 0.024) on Fluency. There was a treatment by S. japonicum intensity interaction (P < 0.001) on Free Recall, but the main effect of treatment on Picture Search was not significant (P = 0.058). Younger children and those who are physically the most vulnerable are likely to benefit the most from the treatment of S. japonicum infection in terms of improved performance on tests of working memory.

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/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.1999.60.556
1999-04-01
2017-11-18
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