Cognitive brain potential alterations in boys exposed to opiates: in utero and lifestyle comparisons

Addictive Behaviors
X GuoR I Herning


Several studies have observed that intrauterine exposure to opiates results in emotional and cognitive complications for the child, but genetic and postnatal social-environmental factors may also affect the CNS development of these children. To assess the relative contribution of the in utero and social-environmental (lifestyle) effects of opiate exposure, event-related potentials (ERPs) and performance were studied in three groups of 7- to 12-year-old boys: (1) the in utero/lifestyle group (IU/LS) contained 16 boys who were exposed to opiates (in utero and lived with opiate-abusing mothers, (2) the lifestyle group (LS) included 14 boys who lived with opiate-abusing mothers, and (3) the control group (CON) composed of 13 boys. The cognitive ERP components and task performance were recorded in the Auditory Rare Event Monitoring (AREM) task and the Sternberg Memory task (Sternberg, 1975). On the AREM and Sternberg Memory tasks, P200 component was significantly decreased for the IU/LS and LS groups. On the Sternberg Memory task, percent correct was also significantly impaired in IU/LS and LS groups. The ERP alterations in the boys living with opiate-abusing mothers with and without intrauterine opiate exposure were similar. A dysf...Continue Reading


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