Prenatal cocaine exposure affects cognitive development in middle childhoodMay 2nd, 2009 - 12:34 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, May 2 (ANI): Cocaine exposure before birth could compromise neurocognitive development among kids during middle childhood, according to researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).
The researchers revealed that heavier intrauterine cocaine exposure (IUCE) is linked with mild compromise on selective areas of neurocognitive development during middle childhood.
For the study, researchers examined if the level of IUCE or the interaction between IUCE and contextual variables was related during middle childhood to executive functioning as was measured by two neuropsychological assessments.
The Stroop Color-Word Test measures verbal inhibitory control while the Rey Osterrieth Organizational score evaluates skills such as planning, organization and perception.
The scientists classified subjects as unexposed, lighter, or heavier IUCE by positive maternal reports and/or biological assay.
Then, researchers who did not know the children’s history or group status examined 143 children at 9 and 11 years of age (74 with IUCE and 69 demographically similar children without IUCE).
When controlled for contextual variables including intrauterine exposures to other licit and illicit substances, level of IUCE was not found to be significantly associated with either assessment scores.
However, the heavier cocaine-exposed group of children had significantly lower Stroop scores compared to the combined lighter/unexposed group.
“These research findings were present even in the absence of major cognitive differences in the same cohort as previously measured by standardized instruments in late infancy and early childhood,” said lead author Ruth Rose-Jacobs, Sc.D., assistant professor and research scientist at BUSM.
He added: “The emergence of these subtle IUCE effects suggests the possibility of neurocognitive “sleeper effects” of IUCE, which may become more apparent with the greater functional and cognitive demands of late middle childhood and preadolescence.”
Besides, researchers stated that further longitudinal assessment would help to clarify whether the IUCE group differences observed in this study are due to immaturity, delays in development, or potentially persistent deficits.
The study appears in the latest issue of Neurotoxicology and Teratology. (ANI)
- Prenatal cocaine exposure not severely damaging to growth, IQ - Mar 02, 2010
- Prenatal smoking exposure may lead to psychiatric problems - May 04, 2010
- Scale to assess newborns exposed to methamphetamine may predict later problems - May 02, 2011
- Prenatal pesticide exposure tied to lower IQ - Apr 21, 2011
- Kids' pain behaviour 'linked to the way their family deals with pain' - Apr 12, 2011
- Infants given anaesthesia face learning problems - Aug 29, 2012
- Exposure to pesticides in mothers linked to kids low IQ - Apr 22, 2011
- Liver patients may have memory problems - May 07, 2010
- Prenatal pesticide exposure lowers kids' IQ - Apr 22, 2011
- Attentiveness in KG key to work-oriented skills - Jan 30, 2012
- Prenatal pesticide exposure, childhood cough are linked - Sep 06, 2012
- Crude oil chemical linked to congenital heart disease - May 01, 2011
- Crying babies 'likelier to have behavioural problems in childhood' - Apr 21, 2011
- Exposure to lead, tobacco smoke ups ADHD risk - Nov 23, 2009
- 'Stress may retard brain development in children' - Jun 07, 2012
Tags: assessment scores, boston university school, boston university school of medicine, cognitive development in middle childhood, cognitive differences, color word, contextual variables, group status, illicit substances, infancy and early childhood, inhibitory control, licit, neuropsychological assessments, planning organization, prenatal cocaine exposure, research scientist, school of medicine, selective areas, stroop color word test, study researchers