Prenatal Methamnphetamine exposure affects the developing child'

Prenatal effects of Methamphetamine

New research published in the April 2009 issue of Neurology describes the impact of methamphetamine exposure before birth and confirmed earlier reports of significant brain changes in these children. The risk of ADD/ ADHD and various learning disabilities appears to be higher in children exposed to meth prenatally.

There is no evidence that any of these children are mentally retarded because of methamphetamine exposure, unless they were also exposed to alcohol before birth. But methamphetamine exposed children may require testing for ADD / ADHD and educational intervention to reach their full potential.

Many lines of research based on cocaine exposed children demonstrate that even with some minimal brain damage, cocaine exposed children do well if they are nurtured and cared for in their early childhood years. The worst outcomes were with children who, in addition to their prenatal exposure, were neglected or abused as children. We anticipate similar results with methamphetamine exposed children, though the brain injury appears to be more severe than that associated with cocaine.

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