i) Application of early neurodevelopmental tests in infants with different pre- and postnatal PCB-levels
ii) Validation of such indicators using behavioural and cognitive criteria at different age levels until age 42 months
iii) Testing the impact of early environmental PCB-exposure for neurological and neurophysiological development.
Epidemiological findings on neuromotor and neurobehavioural developmental deficit associated with early exposure to PCBs, although generally consistent, nevertheless present some uncertainties. The most prominent of these include uncertain causality, disagreement in terms of the spectrum of effects, and inconsistency regarding the persistence of deficit.
The planned prospective study aims at clarifying some of these uncertainties. It expands on an ongoing clinical research programme in the Netherlands, in which 200 newborns each are sampled at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the State University Groningen and at the Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam. In particular, this project will:
i) Extend the observation period beyond age 18 until age 42 months in part of the Dutch sample, and
ii) Add extreme groups of between 200 and 300 newborns from the University Child Clinic in Düsseldorf.
The Dutch and the German contributions are planned to be complementary in terms of the covered observation period, the general sampling strategy, and a partly different spectrum of outcome measures.
The basic unifying exposure variable is the PCB cordblood level. Ring-tests will be organized to ensure comparability and quality of these data. The study protocol covers both essential and optional outcome variables. Essential variables include the early assessment of sensorimotor and neurological status according to TOUWEN & PRECTHL (age 10 d), the BAYLEY SCALES OF INFANT DEVELOPMENT and the FAGAN-Test (age 7 mo), the BAYLEY Scales at age 18 months and the KAUFMAN Assessment Battery as well as the REYNELL Language Scales at age 42 months. In addition, in the German sample, a digitized analysis of spontaneous infant vocalizations will be performed at ages 7 and 12 months according to recently developed methods. Data will be analyzed by means of multiple regression analysis taking confounding variables into account.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3015 GJ Rotterdam
9713 KZ Groningen