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brain development 5 articles

Steroids used to prevent premature birth may cause behavior problems in children

Steroid injections given to prevent premature delivery in pregnant women at risk for early labor may put the baby at risk for behavioral and emotional problems later in life, a new study suggests. Pregnant women at risk for premature birth are routinely given an infusion of glucocorticoids, a steroid that mimics the natural hormone cortisol. The drug is designed to help the baby’s lungs develop. However, new research shows that high levels of glucocorticoids may have a long-term adverse effect on the brain’s development. Previous studies have already made a connection between stress during pregnancy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in ... Read More

Study: Anesthesia may be harmful to brains of young children

Young children who are exposed to anesthesia even once in their lives are more apt to suffer from learning disabilities later in life, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. Previous studies have suggested that repeated exposure to anesthesia can adversely affect the brains of young children, but the latest research shows that even one dose of the drugs before age 3 can have potentially harmful effects. Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York reviewed data from 2,608 children in Australia who had been followed since before their births. The data showed that 321 of ... Read More

Maker of children’s vitamins to pay refunds after making false claims about nutritional value

More than $2 million in refunds are being offered to consumers who bought children’s vitamins that claimed to contain far more nutritional substance than they actually did. The vitamin’s maker, NBTY, and two of its subsidiaries, Rexall Sundown and NatureSmart, claimed in advertising and on packages of its Disney and Marvel Complete Tablets that the vitamins contained 100 percent of a child’s daily requirement of DHA. However, in some cases the vitamins were found to contain only a tiny fraction of DHA. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish. The vitamins’ packages claim the DHA in its vitamins supports ... Read More

FDA warns of mercury poisoning with some cosmetic creams, soaps

Consumers are being warned not to use certain types of skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps or lotions because they contain mercury. Exposure to mercury can cause serious health consequences including damage to the kidneys and nervous system. The products in question are marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles. Adolescents also may use these products as acne treatments. Products with this toxic metal have been found in at least seven states. The products are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the United States – often in shops in Latino, Asian, African, ... Read More

Study links BPA exposure in female fetuses to behavior problems later

Pregnant women who were exposed to BPA, a chemical commonly found in plastics, may be more likely to have baby girls with behavior problems, according to a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. BPA, or Bisphenol A, is an organic compound that is found in a variety of products from plastic water bottles to dental sealants. The chemical’s impact on consumer safety has come into question since 2008. Concerns were further heightened in 2010, when a report by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggested that BPA could be dangerous ... Read More