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Prenatal meth exposure could lead to anxiety, depression

April 10, 2012
by News release
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The findings of a study conducted by Brown University's Center of the Study of Children at Risk revealed that the scores for problems such as anxiety, depression and emotional instability were higher in children with a mother who used meth during pregnancy, compared to those without any prenatal exposure to meth.

The results even revealed some of the children with higher exposure were often more aggressive, withdrawn and had problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The study, which was funded by The National Institutes of Health and The National Institute on Drug Abuse, was a follow-up on a group of 330 previously surveyed children from low-income and at-risk backgrounds. Of the 330 children, 164 of them had prenatal exposure to meth, while the rest did not. Although only one group had exposure to meth, all groups had prenatal exposure to at least tobacco, alcohol or marijuana use.

These two groups were then compared and evaluated. The study recently conducted was to evaluate the behavioral problems of these children who now ranged between ages 3 and 5. The mothers and/or guardians were asked to use a check-list that asked detailed questions about the actions and behaviors of the children.

The surveys of the two groups were then compared by race, birth weight, education and other similar factors.The goal is to hopefully develop a better understanding of the effects of meth during and after pregnancy, while creating awareness.