Kids exposed to meth before birth prone to cognitive problems later in life
Scientists have found that children exposed to methamphetamine before birth have increased cognitive problems at the age of 7.5 years.
The research funded by National Institutes of Health has revealed that the children with prenatal methamphetamine exposure were 2.8 times more likely to have cognitive problem scores in the Connors' Parents Rating Scale than children who were not exposed to the drug.
Lynne M. Smith, MD, a lead researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute said that the cognitive problems include learning slower than their classmates, having difficulty organizing their work and completing tasks and struggling to stay focused on their work.
Smith said that all of these difficulties can lead to educational deficits for these children and potentially negative behavior, as they find they cannot keep up with their classmates.
Methamphetamine usage during pregnancy can cause a restriction of nutrients and oxygen to the developing fetus, as well as potential long-term problems because the drug can cross the placenta and enter the fetus's bloodstream.
The research was published online by The Journal of Pediatrics.
(Posted on 20-03-2014)