Childhood Outcome After Neonatal Hypoglycaemia

Project Code: 10357503

Faculty: Liggins Institute

Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Dist Prof Jane Harding

Application open date: 08 Jul 2016

Application deadline:

Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International


Low blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia) in newborns can cause brain damage, but the full effects may not be detectable in very young children.We have studied a large cohort of children born at risk of hypoglycaemia and shown that at 4.5 years, those who experienced neonatal hypoglycaemia were more likely to have difficulties with executive function and visual-motor skills.These are skills that are important for later learning.It is therefore important to reassess these children at school age, to determine if neonatal hypoglycaemia is related to later performance.If we are able to clarify the relationship between low glucose levels in the newborn and children’s function at school age, this would be predictive of their later achievements and potentially have major implications for management of the large number of babies born at risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia.

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

We are looking for candidates with a degree in a health or education-related discipline and a clinical background. Examples include (but are not limited to) neonatology, nursing, midwifery, paediatrics, obstetrics, developmental or educational psychology.


We plan to assess educational performance, behaviour, health and specific skills required for successful learning at school-age in a unique, well-established cohort of children born at risk of hypoglycaemia, to determine the relationship between glucose levels in newborns and their learning and development at 9-10 years.A subgroup will also undergo brain scanning to relate changes in brain structure after newborn hypoglycaemia to function. 

Other information

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