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Pregnancy Health May Effect Brain Function Of Child

(Loic Venance/Getty Images)

(Loic Venance/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Pregnancy is a critical time period in which brain function and structure develop. In fact, the entire prenatal period is a time of growth and development that is crucial for a young child. Anything a mother does can have a direct impact.

Now, a new report in the journal Neurology focuses on work done by researchers who looked back at almost 400 adult men born between 1934 and 1944. The thinking abilities of the men, including math and language, were assessed at age 20 and again at age 69.

Results indicate that men born to mothers who had high blood pressure during pregnancy scored lower at both ages and had a greater decline in intellectual ability scores in the intervening decades, particularly in math reasoning.