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Prenatal Exposures Associated with Neurodevelopmental Delay and Disabilities

Authors

  • Orna Diav-Citrin

    Corresponding author
    1. Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
    • The Israeli Teratology Information Service, Department of Child Development & Rehabilitation, Medical Administration, The Health Division, Israel Ministry of Health, P.O. Box 1176, Jerusalem, 91010, Israel
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Correspondence to: Orna Diav-Citrin, The Israeli Teratology Information Service, Department of Child Development & Rehabilitation, Medical Administration, The Health Division, Israel Ministry of Health, P.O. Box 1176, Jerusalem 91010, Israel. E-mail: orna.diav-citrin@moh.health.gov.il

Abstract

Neurobehavioral teratology refers to the study of the abnormal development of the structure and the behavioral functions of the central nervous system, which result from exposure to exogenous agents during prenatal development. The focus of this review is the effects of various prenatal exposures on human neurodevelopment. Studies that deal with the adverse effects of infectious agents (rubella, cytomegalovirus, and toxoplasma), teratogenic drugs (e.g., antiepileptic drugs such as phenytoin, valproate, and carbamazepine, coumarin derivatives, and retinoids), alcohol, and other substances of abuse will be reviewed. Additionally, prenatal exposure to industrial or environmental chemicals (e.g., lead, methylmercury, and polycarbonated biphenyls) as well as exposure of the embryo or fetus to high amounts of ionizing radiation will be addressed. Possible mechanisms of selected neurobehavioral teratogens will also be discussed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Disabil Res Rev 2011;17:71–84.

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