Tuberculosis meningitis and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children

Wait J.W.V. ; Stanton L. ; Schoeman J.F. (2002)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children who recovered from tuberculous meningitis (TBM) as part of an ongoing TBM research project. During this study, each TBM group subject underwent a thorough clinical-neurological examination, and a test battery which included the child behaviour check list (CBCL) Teacher's Report Form and Conners Rating Scale. The parents and teachers of each of the 21 TBM group and 21 control group subjects completed the above-mentioned questionnaires. All 21 TBM group subjects displayed symptoms of ADHD. The TBM group was significantly more hyperactive and unable to sustain attention than the control group. Furthermore, TBM group subjects were perceived as being significantly more unpopular, obsessive, compulsive and aggressive than the control group subjects. With regard to the frequency of externalizing behaviour, the TBM group subjects displayed significantly more externalizing behaviours as well as symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity. No significant differences between parents' and teachers' ratings were found. We conclude that ADHD is a common long-term complication of TBM.

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