Abstract Objectives: To review the literature about the environmental impact on children’s mental, behavior, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Sources of data: A nonsystematic review of papers published on MEDLINE-PubMed was carried out using the terms environment and mental health or psychiatric disorders or neurodevelopmental disorders. Summary of findings: Psychopathology emerges at different developmental times as the outcome of complex interactions between nature and nurture and may impact each person in different ways throughout childhood and determine adult outcomes. Mental health is intertwined with physical health and is strongly influenced by cultural, social and economic factors. The worldwide prevalence of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents is 13.4%, and the most frequent are anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression. Neurodevelopment begins at the embryonic stage and continues through adulthood with genetic differences, environmental exposure, and developmental timing acting synergistically and contingently. Early life experiences have been linked to a dysregulation of the neuroendocrine-immune circuitry which results in alterations of the brain during sensitive periods. Also, the environment may trigger modifications on the epigenome of the differentiating cell, leading to changes in the structure and function of the organs. Over 200 million children under 5 years are not fulfilling their developmental potential due to the exposure to multiple risk factors, including poverty, malnutrition and unsafe home environments. Conclusions: Continued support for the promotion of a protective environment that comprises effective parent-child interactions is key in minimizing the effects of neurodevelopmental disorders throughout the lifetime.
ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate sociodemographic and clinical aspects of children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and their behavioral characteristics. Methods: Interview with parents of patients with SCD from four to ten years old, addressing socioeconomic aspects and other health conditions, and using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Clinical data were obtained from medical records. Exclusion criteria were the use of hydroxyurea, previous diagnosis of stroke, chronic encephalopathy and/or intellectual disability. Results: 45 patients (19 girls and 26 boys) were assessed. The median age was seven years. Diagnosis of SCD: 26 hemoglobinopathy SC; 19 hemoglobinopathy SS. Socioeconomic class: D: 24.4%; C2: 44.4%; C1: 28.9%; B2: 2.2%. Clinical history: acute chest syndrome: 40%; transfusions: 66.7%; hospitalizations: 82.2%. SDQ findings: 88.9% clinical impact (emotional subscale: 68.9%); total score: impact in 48.9%. It was not possible to establish a relation between the severity of the disease and the results of the SDQ. Regarding socioeconomic class: among individuals of classes B2 and C1, 21.4% had impact at the total score; in classes C2 and D, this percentage was 61.3%. Regarding the schooling of the head of the family, with Elementary School at least, 39.3% of the children had impacts; for fewer education, this percentage was 64.7%. Conclusions: Behavioral impacts are highly prevalent in children with SCD. Individuals in socioeconomic classes C2 and D suffered more behavioral impacts than individuals in classes B2 and C1.
RESUMO Objetivo: Avaliar aspectos sociodemográficos e clínicos de crianças com doença falciforme (DF) e suas características comportamentais. Métodos: Aplicação de entrevista sobre aspectos socioeconômicos e outras condições de saúde e do questionário de capacidades e dificuldades (SDQ) em pais de pacientes de quatro a dez anos com DF, em um ambulatório de referência. Dados clínicos foram obtidos dos prontuários médicos. Critérios de exclusão: uso de hidroxiureia, diagnóstico prévio de acidente vascular cerebral, encefalopatia crônica e/ou deficiência intelectual. Resultados: Analisados 45 pacientes (19 meninas e 26 meninos). Mediana de idade=7 anos. Diagnóstico da DF=26 hemoglobinopatia SC; 19 hemoglobinopatia SS. Classe econômica (SES): D=24,4%; C2=44,4%; C1=28,8%; B2=2,2%. Antecedentes clínicos: síndrome torácica aguda=40%; transfusões=66,7%; internações=82,2%. Achados SDQ=88,9% alteração clínica (subescala emocional=68,9%); pontuação total=alterada em 48,9%. Não foi possível estabelecer relação entre gravidade da doença e os resultados do SDQ. Com relação à SES, entre indivíduos das classes B2 e C1, 21,4% tiveram alteração na pontuação total; nas classes C2 e D, esse percentual foi de 61,3%. Quanto à escolaridade do chefe da família, com no mínimo ensino fundamental completo, 39,3% das crianças tiveram alteração; para menor escolaridade, esse percentual foi 64,7%. Conclusões: Alterações comportamentais são altamente prevalentes em crianças com DF. Indivíduos das classes C2 e D tiveram mais alterações comportamentais em relação aos indivíduos das classes B2 e C1.