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Behav Neurosci. 2000 Oct;114(5):950-6.

Neurocognitive sequelae of infants of diabetic mothers.

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Institute of Child Development and Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


On the basis of animal models, it was hypothesized that infants of diabetic mothers (IDMs) would be at risk for suffering damage to the hippocampus primarily because of fetal iron deficiency, chronic hypoxia, and hypoglycemia. This, in turn, may result in impairments in recognition memory at a young age. To test this model, the memory of 6-month-old IDMs and control infants was evaluated with electrophysiological (event-related potential [ERP]) and behavioral (looking time) measures. At 12 months, the Bayley Scales of Infant Development was administered. Our ERP measures showed robust evidence consistent with memory deficits in the IDMs. In contrast, the looking time measures and the Bayley exam failed to distinguish between the groups. From these results it was concluded that the ERP, but not the behavioral, measures are able to detect, in an at-risk population, deficits in recognition memory that are thought to be mediated by damage to the hippocampus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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