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Behav Brain Res. 2016 Apr 1;302:175-81. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.01.030. Epub 2016 Jan 16.

Impact of preeclampsia on cognitive function in the offspring.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: m.ratsep@queensu.ca.
2
Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
4
Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
5
Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
6
Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Preeclampsia (PE) is a significant clinical disorder occurring in 3-5% of all human pregnancies. Offspring of PE pregnancies (PE-F1s) are reported to exhibit greater cognitive impairment than offspring from uncomplicated pregnancies. Previous studies of PE-F1 cognitive ability used tests with bias that do not assess specific cognitive domains. To improve cognitive impairment classification in PE-F1s we used standardized clinical psychometric testing and eye tracking studies of saccadic eye movements. PE-F1s (n=10) and sex/age matched control participants (n=41 for psychometrics; n=59 for eye-tracking) were recruited from the PE-NET study or extracted from the NeuroDevNet study databases. Participants completed a selected array of psychometric tests which assessed executive function, working memory, attention, inhibition, visuospatial processing, reading, and math skills. Eye-tracking studies included the prosaccade, antisaccade, and memory-guided tasks. Psychometric testing revealed an impairment in working memory among PE-F1s. Eye-tracking studies revealed numerous impairments among PE-F1s including additional saccades required to reach the target, poor endpoint accuracy, and slower reaction time. However, PE-F1s made faster saccades than controls, and fewer sequence errors in the memory-guided task. Our study provides a comprehensive assessment of cognitive function among PE-F1s. The development of PE may be seen as an early predictor of reduced cognitive function in children, specifically in working memory and oculomotor control. Future studies should extended to a larger study populations, and may be valuable for early studies of children born to pregnancies complicated by other disorders, such as gestational diabetes or intrauterine growth restriction.

KEYWORDS:

Children; Developmental origins of disease; Eye-tracking; Preeclampsia; Psychometrics; Working memory

PMID:
26784561
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2016.01.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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