January 7, 2005

In this Issue:

  1. New Prematurity Study
      Source: New England Journal of Medicine - January 6, 2005
  2. New Policy Brief - Federal Policy for Immigrant Children: Room for Common Ground
      Source: The Future of Children - January 4, 2005
  3. Advancing Scientific Research in Education
      Source: National Academies Press - December 26, 2004
  4. National Birth Defects Prevention Month and National Folic Acid Awareness Week
      Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - January 7, 2005

1. New Prematurity Study

Source: New England Journal of Medicine - January 6, 2005

According to a British study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on January 6, 2005, cognitive and neuromotor impairments are common outcomes among extremely premature infants. This is the largest study completed to date of babies born at 22 to 25 weeks of gestation, with followup to early school age. The results of the study found that 41 percent of the extremely premature group had severe or moderate mental impairment at six years of age, compared to only 2 percent of a comparison group of classmates born full term. Disability was severe in 22% of the children, moderate in 24% of the children, and mild in 34% of the children. 12% of the children had disabling cerebral palsy.

For more information see the following article:
Marlow, N., Wolke, D., Bracewell, M., Samara, M. (2005). Neurologic and Developmental Disability at Six Years of Age after Extremely Preterm Birth. New England Journal of Medicine, 352(1), 9-19 (http://content.nejm.org/ - Available through most academic libraries).

2. New Policy Brief - Federal Policy for Immigrant Children: Room for Common Ground

Source: The Future of Children - January 4, 2005

This new policy brief focuses on the 20 percent of America's children who live in immigrant households. Evidence shows that these children are more likely to live in poverty than native born children and are below average on many important measures of child development, including vocabulary and school achievement. These children will represent a significant part of our future workforce, and their achievement will impact our economy, as well as the viability of the nation's Social Security and Medicare programs. As a result, scholars and policymakers should pay more attention to these children's development. This brief discusses different approaches to policy change that could promote the development of immigrant children. [The need to expand early childhood care and education programming is discussed.] The authors conclude that researchers and public officials must search for common ground to improve the future prospects for the children of immigrant families. To read the brief go to http://www.futureofchildren.org/usr_doc/Federal_Policy_for_Immigrant_Children.pdf.

3. Advancing Scientific Research in Education

Source: National Academies Press - December 26, 2004

Transforming education into an evidence-based field depends in no small part on a strong base of scientific knowledge to inform educational policy and practice. Advancing Scientific Research in Education makes select recommendations for strengthening scientific education research and targets federal agencies, professional associations, and universities—particularly schools of education—to take the lead in advancing the field. To access this book online go to http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=030909321X.

4. National Birth Defects Prevention Month and National Folic Acid Awareness Week

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - January 7, 2005

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and January 24-30 is National Folic Acid Awareness Week. Birth defects affect approximately 120,000 (one in 33) newborns in the United States each year; they are the leading cause of infant mortality and contribute substantially to illness and long-term disability.

Information on CDC activities regarding birth defects is available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/. Information on Birth Defects Prevention Month is available from the March of Dimes (http://www.marchofdimes.com) and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network ( http://www.nbdpn.org/index.html). Information on National Folic Acid Awareness Week is available from the National Council on Folic Acid (http://www.folicacidinfo.org).