Neonatal encephalopathy (NE) following perinatal
asphyxia (PA) is considered an important cause of later
neurodevelopmental impairment in infants born at term.
This review discusses long-term consequences for general
cognitive functioning, educational achievement, neuropsychological
functioning and behavior. In all areas reviewed,
the outcome of children with mild NE is consistently
positive and the outcome of children with severe NE
consistently negative. However, children with moderate NE
form a more heterogeneous group with respect to outcome.
On average, intelligence scores are below those of
children with mild NE and age-matched peers, but within
the normal range. With respect to educational achievement,
difficulties have been found in the domains reading,
spelling and arithmetic/mathematics. So far, studies of
neuropsychological functioning have yielded ambiguous
results in children with moderate NE. A few studies
suggest elevated rates of hyperactivity in children with
moderate NE and autism in children with moderate and
severe NE. Conclusion: Behavioral monitoring is required
for all children with NE. In addition, systematic, detailed
neuropsychological examination is needed especially for
children with moderate NE.