Prenatal Methamphetamine Exposure Linked Cognitive Problems

Cognitive Problems Result from Prenatal Methamphetamine Exposure

Methamphetamine exposure isn’t good for anyone, but a new study suggests it’s particularly harmful for the fetus. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, long term prenatal methamphetamine exposure found that babies were at a higher risk of cognitive problems even by the age of seven. They concluded that early intervention was an absolute must.

The Details

Researchers looked at 151 kids exposed to methamphetamine in the womb and 147 kids who weren’t. Those who were exposed were nearly three times as likely to have cognitive difficulties, including slower learning tendencies, difficulty organizing work, and problems staying focused. Given that nearly five percent of women who are pregnant report drug use, this is an ongoing concern.

Past similar research had looked at babies exposed to methamphetamine in the womb, but had not compared difficulties with children who were not exposed.

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