Welcome to the ELGAN (Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns) Research Study Family Website!
We, the ELGAN Study researchers, have followed over one thousand children born at least 3 months early between 2002 and 2004 at 14 different hospitals in 5 states. We tested these premature babies at birth and again when they were two years old. In the first few weeks after birth, when the babies had routine blood tests, we saved a drop or two for later testing. Through testing these saved blood samples, we learned that children who had signs of inflammation in their blood were more likely to have development problems when they were 2 years old.
In this continuation of the ELGAN research study, we want to learn more about the strengths and difficulties of children who are born prematurely. We want to find out if the drops of blood collected years ago can tell us more about learning and behavior when the children are school age (about 10 years old). We plan to test the children’s ability to learn, read and do math problems, develop social skills, and organize their thinking, as well as assess their motor abilities and head growth. Some randomly chosen children will be invited to return for a special brain MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. We believe that this work has potential to make a difference in the care and outcome of children born very early. If what we learn is confirmed we will have made an important contribution to preventing learning problems in children. This goal was a driving force behind the ELGAN Study when we started over 10 years ago and it continues to inspire and energize ELGAN 2 team members today.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of our sponsor, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).