Impact of Plasmodium falciparum malaria on performance and learning: review of the evidence

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Despite the growing recognition that Plasmodium falciparum malaria constitutes a major threat to child survival, the indirect consequences of disease and infection on general human development have been less well described. This review suggests that malaria in childhood is likely to have effects on general cognitive and behavioral development, which range from subtle to profound. Nevertheless, our understanding of the numbers of affected children, and the persistence of and recovery from impairment remains ill defined. Only through large long-term studies will we be able to establish the wider consequences of malaria on communities in areas of the world where malaria is endemic.

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