Cognitive deficits tend to plague the quality of life from several corners. The complexity increases when two or more diseases co-exist and contribute to the manifestation of several symptoms. Clinically, the management of such conditions would be challenging depending on the age at which the individuals’ life gets affected. In such context, this assignment deals with a topic sickle cell disease (SCD) and cognition with a special emphasis on the meta-analysis literature review. The main goal of this paper is to determine the impact of SCD on the cognition. The initial focus will be on the evaluation of gaps or the inconsistencies with regard to the impact of sickle cell disease on cognitive functioning. Even though several papers have tested the SCD specific cognitive functioning, they were concluded differently regarding the cognitive impact of the condition (“Cognitive Functioning in Children” 740).
Normally, a given disagreement across various studies appears to occur when the findings vary and a concrete conclusion turns challenging. In such cases, a hypothetical research question is: It is unknown if the effects of SCD on the cognition are large or meaningful. A vital difference among the investigations was thought to be the IQ application as the outcome variable. This is because an IQ score is considered as the most common approach to evaluate the cognitive functioning method. However, there are drawbacks about the use of IQ as the main measure of outcome. Initially, many IQ tests determine only a portion of capabilities that are associated with the cognitive functioning. For instance, the frequently employed Wechsler scales determines three to four factors, and it only focuses on the inclusion of tests related to the executive skills and memory (“Cognitive Functioning in Children” 740). This Wechsler scales at best measure three or four factors, and it is very much confined to important areas of cognition such as memory and executive skills (Wechsler, 1991). Few models of cognition are confined to eight cognitive factors that could offer only distinct information. Next, when a deficit in a particular area of cognition exists, scores of IQ can undervalue its potential by mainly averaging the scores on affected and unaffected skills. This could likely increase the bias on IQ as a unique outcome measure of cognition. It could weaken the link between IQ measure and the capability of several other measures.
Cognitive deficits analysis noted reliable cognitive functioning decrements on the IQ measures.
Particularly, SCD affected children appear to exhibit a moderate level of school achievement linked to absenteeism compared to their peers. This could reflect some IQ or intelligence differences. However, some methodological issues are believed to contribute to differences in the IQ measure outcomes in SCD children. Such decrements reflect complications related to CNS.
These complications are believed to be common among the children with SCD. These may involve cognitive impairment, silent cerebral infarction, and stroke. The impact of such complications could lead to total disability, restricted career options, and academic failure. Although studies exist that mention the key cognitive effect of sickle cell disease, data seems still scarce. Questions that could arise associated with this scenario are that it is not precisely known what is mainly contributing to the SCD related cognitive impairments in children. Some mechanisms were important brain function’s physiological effects. Such mechanisms are the deposition of microinfarcts that could not be observed on standard imaging tests, chronic brain hypoxia associated with severe anemia, acute hypoxia associated with physical ailments like acute chest syndrome, and nutritional defects associated with increased metabolic demands. Supporting this suspected mechanism, only a few papers have shed light on the presence of hypoxic alterations in brain tissue for SCD children (Steen et al.280). Likewise, data emphasized on the presence of biological risk factors in the developmental outcomes of children (brain insults and preterm birth) to be much dependent on the social environment quality than for children with no such biological factors (Taylor et al.16).
On the whole, there is poor awareness among the tutors and parents who can understand assess the risks linked with sickle cell disease and academic achievement. As a community health advocate, the school nurse will be advised to improve the knowledge among educators, parents, healthcare providers, and students.