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Neonatal PCB-exposure and neurodevelopmental deficit: inclusion of high risk cohort to supplement ongoing neuropaediatric studies


To complement two ongoing neuropaediatric studies : (a) a Danish/Italian study entitled "Detection of neurotoxicity in children with environmental methylmercury exposure (CT920219)", and (b) a Dutch/German study entitled "Neonatal PCB exposure and neurodevelopmental deficit : application and validation of indicators for the early detection of deficit (CT920207)". The motivation for the complementary study comes from the observation that segments of the Faroese population are exposed to high levels of PCB from seafood. This complementary study is expected to improve the validity of both ongoing studies in the following manner : (a) within the Danish/Italian study the causative interpretation is likely to be improved; (b) within the Dutch/German study a broader exposure axis increases the likelihood of detecting PCB-related neurodevelopmental deficit.

It is planned to recruit about 200 neonates at the National Hospital at Torshavn, Faroe Islands, to measure PCB-concentrations (3-6 congeners) in cordblood and spot milk samples, as well as methylmercury in maternal hair, and to follow the neurobehavioural development of these infants according to the Dutch/German study protocol as follows : Early neurological examination according to the neurological optimality concept of TOUWEN/PRECHTL at about age 15 days, cognitive examination by means of the BAYLEY-Scales of Infant Development (MDI and PDI for mental and psychomotor development, respectively), as well as by means of the FAGAN-test of Infant Intelligence, and by vocalization analysis at seven months of age, and, again, the TOUWEN/PRECHTL neurological examination and the BAYLEY-Scales at 18 months of age. Clinical training and analytical ringtests will be implemented to ensure inter-laboratory and inter-study comparability of outcome. Results will be evaluated by means of multiple regression analysis taking confounding (social status, maternal intelligence, etc.) into account. The results will be combined with the Dutch/German study in order to increase the statistical power both for effect monitoring and for validation purposes as well.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Auf'm Hennekamp 50
40225 Duesseldorf

Participants (2)

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Moorenstraße 5
40225 Düsseldorf
Odense Universitet
5000 Odense C