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A recent study of 39 children with CHARGE syndrome (a complex syndrome of birth defects causing problems that differ from child to child) examined the prevalence and nature of feeding difficulties as well as the links between clinical characteristics of the syndrome and feeding development. The researchers collected information for the study by having parents complete two questionnaires. Their answers indicated a high prevalence of long-term feeding problems in children with CHARGE syndrome: About 90% needed tube feedings at some time.
The researchers also found that parents reported a high prevalence of weak sucking and chewing, swallowing difficulty, gastroesophageal reflux, and aspiration. These findings led the researchers to conclude that cranial nerve dysfunction is the primary clinical feature of CHARGE affecting feeding development.
Source: Dobbelsteyn C, et al. Feeding difficulties in children with CHARGE syndrome: Prevalence, risk factors, and prognosis. Dysphagia. 23(2):127-135, June 2008.
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