Evaluating the effect of prenatal Docasahexaenoic Acid (DHA)supplementation on cognitive development at 7 years of age in Mexico Open Access

Shah, Jill (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3x816n40v?locale=en
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Abstract

The essential n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is important in fetal brain and retina development. Most of the amounts of DHA in the brain are deposited towards the second half of pregnancy and into early infancy, and is abundant in the nonmyelin membranes of the brain and retina. The high concentrations of DHA in these neural membranes suggests that providing additional preformed DHA during pregnancy to mothers may improve the structural and functional development of cognitive systems of their infants. Nutrition and early childhood intellectual achievement are important factors for intellectual functioning in adulthood. A large double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of DHA supplementation was conducted starting in 2007 and followed a cohort of 1,094 women and their offspring (n=973) in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Women received daily supplementation with 400 mg DHA or a placebo from 18-22 weeks of gestation through delivery. A follow-up study was conducted to evaluate the effects of prenatal DHA supplementation on child cognitive development at 7 years of age (n=679), using the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI). The outcome measure included the Full Scale IQ, Performance IQ and Verbal IQ tests and the subset tests, which included Matrix Reasoning, Similarities, Vocabulary and Block Design. The intent to treat analysis showed that DHA supplementation during the second half of pregnancy until delivery did not significantly affect cognitive development at 7 years of age as measured by WASI (p>0.10). A priori tests for heterogeneity showed significant effect modification by HOME score at 60 months and by gender. Full Scale IQ and Verbal IQ scores were higher among children from poorer home environments at 60 months of age who were exposed to prenatal DHA supplementation compared to those that received a placebo and came from similar home environments (p < 0.10). This could demonstrate that children from poorer home environment benefit from prenatal DHA supplementation compared to their unexposed peers.

Table of Contents

LITERATURE REVIEW.............1

INTRODUCTION.................. 12

METHODS..........................14

RESULTS...........................22

DISCUSSION......................25

REFERENCES......................30

TABLES.............................36

FIGURE.............................46

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