Poverty affects children’s cognitive development

Poverty affects children's cognitive development

There is a significant correlation between poverty, especially that which causes malnutrition, and poorer results in children both in cognitive tests and in school results .

One of the latest studies in this regard , funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is being carried out in Bangladesh, where around 40% of children are stunted.

Cognitive poverty

Researcher Shahria Hafiz Kakon , who is part of the International Diarrheal Disease Research Center in Dhaka, and pediatric neuroscientist Charles Nelson , among other collaborators, are analyzing brain images of children affected by this growth problem.

Specifically, they have carried out magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests. They also subjected about 130 36-month-old children to functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRs) tests and detected different patterns in brain activity in those who suffered from growth retardation and other adversities .

In addition to malnutrition , the study attributes the poor cognitive development of these children to hygiene, in addition to infections by intestinal pathogens and mothers with high rates of depression. The next step is to identify the most relevant factor in children to direct efforts to tackle it as a priority. Image | santiagonostalgico