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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1999 Sep-Oct;21(5):503-11.

Neurobehavioral effects of prenatal alcohol exposure at 26 months.

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Wayne State University, The Psychology Department, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development were evaluated at 13 and 26 months and on three language measures at 26 months, in 92 economically disadvantaged, African American toddlers. After consideration of 17 potential confounders, a significant alcohol-related deficit in the Mental Development Index (MDI) was seen at 13 months as was a tendency for poorer Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) performance. The PDI deficit continued to be evident at 26 months. When the 26-month MDI was factor analyzed, four factors emerged: Linguistic Representation, Spatial Fine Motor, Other Fine Motor, and Relational Representation. As in a previous study of these children at 13 months of age, Spatial Fine Motor deficits were specifically associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. These findings appear consistent with reports relating prenatal alcohol exposure to poorer spatial visualization and spatial memory in adolescence. No effects of prenatal exposure were detected on language. Maternal postpartum drinking was associated with decreased language intelligibility.

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