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Title:Evaluating the relationship between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and phthalates and early attention and language development
Author(s):Woodbury, Megan Lee
Director of Research:Schantz, Susan L
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Schantz, Susan L
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hadley, Pamela; Hyde, Daniel; Raetzman, Lori; Smith, Rebecca
Department / Program:Neuroscience Program
Discipline:Neuroscience
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):cognitive development
attention
visual recognition memory
language development
acetaminophen
phthalates
Abstract:The potential effects of prenatal acetaminophen exposure on neurodevelopment have become a topic of interest in recent years with an increasing number of studies finding evidence that it may be related to attention problems and poorer language development. Phthalates have also been linked to deficits in attention and language development, as well as other neurodevelopmental outcomes, although the evidence for these associations has been mixed. Acetaminophen is one of the few medications pregnant women are told they can safely take, and exposure to phthalates is ubiquitous, thus exposure to both is common in pregnant women. Both compounds have been shown to be antiandrogenic and, thus, they may also share a mechanism of action. Together this suggests that acetaminophen and phthalates could have cumulative effects on neurodevelopmental outcomes. The goal of this dissertation was to examine the association of prenatal acetaminophen and phthalate exposure individually and their potential cumulative effects with attention in infancy and early childhood, as well as with language development in early childhood. Chapter 3 describes the Illinois Kids Development Study (IKIDS), an ongoing prospective birth cohort within which this study was conducted. Chapter 4 examines the associations of maternal urinary biomarkers obtained during pregnancy of diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and two replacement chemicals for DEHP, diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and di-2-ethylhexyl terephthalate (DEHTP) with measures of infant cognition obtained via infrared eye tracking using a visual recognition memory (VRM) paradigm. Results were mixed but generally indicate that prenatal DEHTP may be related to improved attention while DINP may be related to slower information processing. Chapter 5 evaluates the associations of maternal self-report of acetaminophen use during pregnancy by trimester, in addition to cumulative exposure across pregnancy, with measures of infant cognition in the VRM paradigm, as well as the potential cumulative effects of prenatal phthalate and acetaminophen exposure on infant cognition. There was little evidence that prenatal acetaminophen exposure had a negative impact on infant cognition; however, results indicated that there may be a cumulative negative effect of first trimester acetaminophen exposure and DINP exposure on information processing speed. Chapter 6 assesses the associations of prenatal urinary biomarkers of phthalate exposure and maternal self-report measures of acetaminophen use during pregnancy with parental report of attention-related outcomes on a standardized survey of child behavior at 2 and 3 years. Associations generally indicated that prenatal exposure to DEHP was associated with fewer attention problems at 2 years, and while DEHTP was associated with fewer attention problems at both 2 and 3 years of age, MEP was associated with more attention problems at both 2 and 3 years. Associations with prenatal acetaminophen exposure consistently showed that both second trimester and cumulative exposure across pregnancy were associated with increased attention problems at both 2 and 3 years. Potential cumulative effects of prenatal phthalate and acetaminophen exposure on attention at 2 and 3 years of age were also evaluated, and there was evidence for cumulative effects of exposure to acetaminophen during the second trimester and MEP on attention-related behaviors at 2 years. Chapter 7 evaluates the associations of biomarkers of prenatal phthalate exposure and maternal self-report of acetaminophen use during pregnancy with measures of language development at 2 and 3 years of age. Results showed adverse associations of prenatal phthalate exposure with multiple measures of language development at 2 years, and male children were generally more impacted, but only DEHTP was also associated with poorer language development at 3 years. Acetaminophen exposure was associated with lower vocabulary scores and increased odds of female children having lower scores on measures of language development at 2 years, but both second trimester exposure and cumulative exposure to acetaminophen across pregnancy were consistently associated with multiple poorer language outcomes at 3 years and these associations were not sex specific. Potential cumulative effects of prenatal exposure to phthalates and acetaminophen on language development were also assessed, and there was evidence indicating there may be cumulative effects of acetaminophen exposure during the second trimester with DEHP or DEHTP on measures of language development at 2 years. The results of this study add to the growing body of literature indicating that prenatal exposure to phthalates or acetaminophen may adversely attention and language development and suggest that prenatal exposure to both may have cumulative effects on neurodevelopment that have not been considered previously.
Issue Date:2021-10-29
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/114049
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Megan Lee Woodbury
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12


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