Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2022 Mar 18:107089. doi: 10.1016/ Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: We hypothesized that prenatal cannabis exposure (PCE) would be associated with increased attention problems and altered neurocognition in young adolescents.

METHODS: Data were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD study®), a cohort of approximately 12,000 children. Presence or absence of PCE after knowledge of pregnancy was measured by caregiver report. All participants with PCE (N = 224) were included and compared to two control groups; those matched on tobacco and alcohol exposure and those without prenatal tobacco or alcohol exposures. Outcomes were measured with the ABCD baseline assessment when participants were 9-10 years old and included attention, internalizing, externalizing and total problems scales on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Teacher reports were used when available. Mixed effects modeling assessed the association between PCE and outcomes controlling for parental psychopathology, prematurity and socioeconomic status. For participants with available data, patterns of brain activity during three fMRI tasks (the Stop Signal Task measuring response inhibition, the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task measuring reward processing and the EN-Back task measuring working memory) were analyzed using Permutation Analyses of the Linear Model.

RESULTS: Compared to both control groups, participants with PCE had significantly higher attention problems, externalizing, and total problem scores. PCE did not impact cognitive performance or patterns of brain activation during fMRI tasks.

CONCLUSIONS: There are long-term associations between PCE and early adolescent attention and behavioral problems. These are not reflected in cognitive performance or task fMRI measures, a finding that is consistent with reports that fewer than half of children with ADHD have any specific cognitive deficit (Nigg et al., 2005; Willcutt et al., 2005). The young age of the sample may also relate to this finding and future investigation of neurodevelopmental trajectories of youth with PCE is warranted.

PMID:35314358 | DOI:10.1016/

Source: ncbi 2

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