Tag Archives | brain damage

Flame-Retardant Chemicals May Be Linked to Lower IQs in Children

Picture: PD

Picture: PD

Chemicals once used to make furniture more resistant to flame has been implicated in childhood neurological deficits, including lower IQs and hyperactivity:

Via Scientific American:

The researchers tracked children through the first five years of their lives, looking at a battery of tests for IQ and behavior. They found that children of mothers who had high PBDE levels during their second trimester showed cognition deficits when the children were five years old as well as higher rates of hyperactivity at ages two to five. If the mother’s blood had a 10-fold increase in PBDEs, the average five-year-old had about a four-point IQ deficit. “A four-point IQ difference in an individual child may not be perceivable in…ordinary life. However, in a population, if many children are affected, the social and economic impact can be huge due to the shift of IQ distribution and productivity,” says lead author Aimin Chen, an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

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Animal Study Proves That Early Isolation and Neglect Permanently Damages Young Brains

Picture: Thomas Black (PD)

Caregivers and clinicians have long known that profoundly neglected infants grow into children with behavioral issues: studies of children rescued from dismal Romanian orphanages often show a wide range of neurological and psychological deficits, known collectively as “Reaction Attachment Disorder.” The exact mechanisms behind these changes were not known.

Now, a groundbreaking new study conducted by researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School has provided the world with a neurobiological model for how isolation can damage the developing brain:

By studying mice that had been isolated early in life, researchers led by Gabriel Corfas of Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School hoped to uncover how social deprivation can affect the developing brain. After the mice had weaned, the researchers put them into one of three environments: One was a deluxe suite, enriched with fresh toys every other day and populated by friends of similar ages, one was a standard laboratory cage holding four mice, and one was a holding cell for total isolation.

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