Insufficient or excessive weight gain in pregnancy can have negative consequences for fetuses and children including infant mortality. The Institute of Medicine recently revised gestational weight gain guidelines, recommending that women gain weight within specific weight gain ranges for their Body Mass Index category. Yet little is known about the association between extremes of gestational weight gain and child cognition.
"One challenge for studies examining gestational weight gain and child outcomes is separating the effect of gestational weight gain from confounders," said Sarah A. Keim, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Confounders such as maternal intelligence, whether the family environment promotes cognitive development, family diet and exercise and some genetic factors can influence neurodevelopment postnatal and also gestational weight gain."
To address these gaps in data, Dr. Keim led a study to assess the association between gestational weight gain and the cognitive performance of children at 4 and 7 years of age. The study appears in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Using data from the U.S. Collaborative Perinatal Project, Dr. Keim's team employed two statistical approaches. The more traditional approach adjusted for factors like the mother's weight before pregnancy, her race and the baby's sex. The other used a fixed-effects approach to control for all potential confounding factors that are shared among siblings, such as a proportion of genetic factors and parenting practices.
Findings showed that any observed detrimental influence of extremes of gestational weight gain on cognition can be explained by familial or shared genetic factors rather than gestational weight gain itself. Dr. Keim cautions that these results do not apply to preterm children and don't account for all possible confounding factors. "Strength of our approach is the potential for reduced bias in our estimates," said Dr. Keim. "However, this does not eliminate the possibility of residual confounding from factors siblings do not share. Our findings suggest that gestational weight gain is generally unassociated with child cognitive development."
Keim SA, Pruitt NT. Gestational weight gain and child cognitive development. Int J Epidemiol. 2012 Feb 7. [Epub ahead of print]
For more information on the Center for Biobehavioral Health, visit http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/center-for-biobehavioral-health
Erin Pope | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
26.09.2017 | Information Technology
26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Life Sciences