The effect of treatment for soil-transmitted helminthiasis on cognitive function in children

Main Article Content

Dewi Sari
Muhammad Ali
Syahril Pasaribu


Background Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections affect
one-third of the world's population. School-aged children are
reported to have the highest prevalence and intensity of disease,
resulting in impaired cognitive function, malnutrition and
Objective To examine differences in cognitive function in STHinfected
children before and after treatment.
Methods We conducted a randomized, open-label, controlled trial
from November 2 008 - March 2009 in Aek Na bar a, Lab uh an Batu
District, North Sumatera Province. Subjects were primary schoolaged
children with STH infection. Before intervention, data on
age, sex, nutritional status, STH infection status and cognitive
function were collected. Subjects were divided into two groups
by simple randomization. Group I received 400 mg albendazole
and group II received a placebo. Three months after intervention,
cognitive function of subjects in both groups was reassessed. Data
was analysed by Student's t test, with P value of less than 0.05
considered to be statistically significant.
Results Cognitive tests with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for
Children (WISC) were performed in 120 children infected with
STH. Sixty children received 400 mg albendazole and 60 children
received placebo. Seven children were excluded and one dropped
out from this study. Three months after the intervention, we
reevaluated cognitive function and found significant differences
in the categories of digit span (P=0.024) and total IQ score
(P=0.027) between the two groups.
Conclusions Treatment of STH infection with albendazole
improved cognitive function of children in comprehension, coding
and digit span testing. Performance and full IQ scores were also
improved after treatment. [Paediatr lndones. 2012;52:99-105].

Article Details

How to Cite
Sari D, Ali M, Pasaribu S. The effect of treatment for soil-transmitted helminthiasis on cognitive function in children. PI [Internet]. 30Apr.2012 [cited 15Aug.2020];52(2):99-05. Available from:
Received 2016-08-22
Accepted 2016-08-22
Published 2012-04-30


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