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Environ Res. 2000 Sep;84(1):1-11.

Neurodevelopmental outcomes of Seychellois children from the pilot cohort at 108 months following prenatal exposure to methylmercury from a maternal fish diet.

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  • 1University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, USA.


The Seychelles Child Development Study has been unable to confirm any relationship between maternal exposure to MeHg during pregnancy and adverse developmental outcomes. In this report, 87 children from a pilot cohort were evaluated at 9 years of age. Each child was given a battery testing specific cognitive, visual motor, and motor skills using standardized psychometric and neuro-psychological tests. The results indicated no adverse association between maternal MeHg exposure and any developmental outcome measure. For three endpoints (Boston Naming Test and two tests of visual motor coordination), enhanced performance in males was associated with increasing prenatal MeHg exposure. A secondary analysis including both prenatal MeHg and postnatal MeHg exposure was done even though we lacked postnatal hair for about 35% of the cohort. The results of the secondary analysis mirrored the outcomes of the primary analysis regarding prenatal exposure but were less robust. The results of this study are consistent with earlier findings from the 66-month evaluations of the SCDS Main cohort. Since MeHg is neurotoxic, this effect is likely due to other factors associated with consumption of fish.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

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