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PLoS One. 2015 Sep 18;10(9):e0138611. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138611. eCollection 2015.

Low to Moderate Average Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking in Early Pregnancy: Effects on Choice Reaction Time and Information Processing Time in Five-Year-Old Children.

Author information

1
Department of Research, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark.
2
Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
3
Vejlefjord Rehabilitation Center, Stouby, Denmark.
4
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Lillebælt Hospital, Kolding, Denmark.
5
Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
6
Clinical Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
7
National Institute of Public Health, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
8
Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Bioinformatics Research Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
9
Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
10
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Deficits in information processing may be a core deficit after fetal alcohol exposure. This study was designed to investigate the possible effects of weekly low to moderate maternal alcohol consumption and binge drinking episodes in early pregnancy on choice reaction time (CRT) and information processing time (IPT) in young children.

METHOD:

Participants were sampled based on maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. At the age of 60-64 months, 1,333 children were administered a modified version of the Sternberg paradigm to assess CRT and IPT. In addition, a test of general intelligence (WPPSI-R) was administered.

RESULTS:

Adjusted for a wide range of potential confounders, this study showed no significant effects of average weekly maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy on CRT or IPT. There was, however, an indication of slower CRT associated with binge drinking episodes in gestational weeks 1-4.

CONCLUSION:

This study observed no significant effects of average weekly maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy on CRT or IPT as assessed by the Sternberg paradigm. However, there were some indications of CRT being associated with binge drinking during very early pregnancy. Further large-scale studies are needed to investigate effects of different patterns of maternal alcohol consumption on basic cognitive processes in offspring.

PMID:
26382068
PMCID:
PMC4575046
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0138611
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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