Attention-deficit/hyperactivity problems associated with low folate levels in pregnant women

October 28, 2009

SOUTHAMPTON, UK.--October 28, 2009--It has long been suggested that healthy folate (the natural form of folic acid) levels in expectant mothers goes hand in hand with healthy nervous system development in their children. A study published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry finds that low maternal folate levels is linked to the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity problems in children at age seven to nine years.

Researcher Dr. Wolff Schlotz points out, "Our findings further support the hypothesis that maternal nutrition contributes to an individuals' development, with potential consequences for their behavior later in life." The long term effects of poor maternal nutrition may even branch out to the child's ability to interact with peers or form social bonds.

The researchers also found that children born from mothers with a low folate status had a notably smaller head circumference at birth, which may indicate a smaller rate of prenatal brain growth in children adversely affected by low folate levels. This is a cause for concern among low-income populations where the nutritional health of the mother is a low priority, and women are less likely to take folate supplements in advance of pregnancy.
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This study is published in an upcoming issue of The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Media wishing toreceive a PDF of this article may contact scholarlynews@wiley.com.

To view the abstract for this article, please visit http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122665861/abstract.

Wolf Schlotz, Ph.D. is a Lecturer at the School of Psychology and Visiting Scientist at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton. He can be reached for questions at ws@southampton.ac.uk

About the Journal: The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry is internationally recognised to be the leading journal covering both child and adolescent psychology and psychiatry. Articles published include experimental and developmental studies, especially those relating to developmental psychopathology and the developmental disorders. An important function of JCPP is to bring together empirical research, clinical studies and reviews of high quality arising from different points of view. JCPP also features a yearly special issue.

About The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: The Association is a learned Society managed by an elected Board within a Constitution accepted by the membership. The Objects of the Association are the scientific study of all matters concerning the mental health and development of children through the medium of meetings, academic initiatives and publications - The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and the ACAMH Occasional Papers series - in which scientific matters can be discussed, and clinical findings, research projects and results can be published. The Association is multi-disciplinary in nature, and exists to further all aspects of child and adolescent mental health. Membership of the Association does not confer professional status on any individual. For further information, please visit www.acamh.org.uk.

About Wiley-Blackwell: Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world's leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit www.wileyblackwell.com or www.interscience.wiley.com.

Wiley

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