Advancing the Selection of Neurodevelopmental Measures in Epidemiological Studies of Environmental Chemical Exposure and Health Effects

Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, CB 3270, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Impact Factor: 1.99). 01/2010; 7(1):229-68. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph7010229
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT With research suggesting increasing incidence of pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders, questions regarding etiology continue to be raised. Neurodevelopmental function tests have been used in epidemiology studies to evaluate relationships between environmental chemical exposures and neurodevelopmental deficits. Limitations of currently used tests and difficulties with their interpretation have been described, but a comprehensive critical examination of tests commonly used in studies of environmental chemicals and pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders has not been conducted. We provide here a listing and critical evaluation of commonly used neurodevelopmental tests in studies exploring effects from chemical exposures and recommend measures that are not often used, but should be considered. We also discuss important considerations in selecting appropriate tests and provide a case study by reviewing the literature on polychlorinated biphenyls.

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