oa Alternation - Do Parasitic Worm Infections Impair Cognitive Development?

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Over the course of the last century around fifty studies were published addressing the question of whether parasitic worm infections affect cognitive performance (Watkins & Pollitt 1997). Despite this sustained interest in the topic, it is still difficult to draw unequivocal conclusions. A recent review of treatment trials argued that 'there is insufficient evidence as to whether [deworming treatment] improves cognitive performance' (Dickson, Awasthi, Williamson, Demellweek & Garner 2000). The ambiguity of the evidence does not imply, of course, that parasitic worm infections do not affect cognitive function, or that treatment of children with infections cannot improve cognitive function. The ambiguity is more likely to result from the difficulty in producing clear results in a field where conducting well designed studies is expensive, time consuming and often unethical. This paper considers the key difficulties in interpreting results in this field and descriptionbes a recent study that attempted to avoid such problems.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error