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Meds Don't Muck the Mind

Meds Don't Muck the Mind


Exposure to antiretrovirals in the womb has no effect on the neurological development of children born to HIV-positive mothers, according to a study reported in the October edition of the journal Pediatrics. Canadian researchers compared 39 children exposed to triple antiretroviral therapy in the womb with 24 children born to HIV-negative mothers who had similar levels of substance abuse with cocaine and methadone and hepatitis C infection to the HIV-positive mothers. 'Overall, we found that maternal substance use was a stronger predictor of a poor neurodevelopmental outcome than [combination antiretroviral] exposure,' the researchers conclude. They also note that a third of the children 'experienced a change in the family's status,' such as placement into foster care or separation from the father, in the prior year; the researchers point out various other study results that show that during the first years of life home environment plays an important role in a child's neurodevelopment.

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