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IVF does not increase risk of developmental disorders in children
Date:7/8/2008

p>The researchers studied the babies' neurodevelopment by assessing their spontaneous movements, known as general movements, early in infancy. "The quality of these movements reflects the integrity of the young brain and is related to developmental disorders such as CP, minor neurological dysfunction, and behavioural problems when children reach school age," said Dr. Middelburg.

Data on quality of movements in the general population was also available by assessing 450 singleton children at child welfare clinics. The researchers found that the quality of general movements of singletons born following conventional IVF and IVF using the modified natural cycle were similar to that of the singletons born to sub-fertile couples.

"However, we were intrigued to find that sub-fertility appeared to relate to less-than-optimal neurological condition in early infancy," said Dr. Middelburg. "Mildly abnormal general movements occurred more frequently in the children born to sub-fertile parents than in the general population, and this suggests that factors relating to sub-fertility rather than to IVF procedures come into play."

The children in the study are currently being assessed a number of times until their second birthday. The team intends to follow up the work by recalling them for further assessment around their fourth birthday. "Some developmental disorders, such as cognitive and behavioural problems are only fully detectable when children grow older," said Dr. Middelburg. "This study is important, not only because it informs us about the effect of hormonal stimulation on brain development, but also because we believe that many factors associated with sub-fertility may be implicated in the neurological condition of the resulting children. This is an intriguing finding that deserves further investigation."


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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
34-932-308-810
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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