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INTRODUCTION Exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) before birth can adversely affect children's neurodevelopment. The most common form of prenatal exposure is maternal fish consumption, but whether such exposure harms the fetus is unknown. We aimed to identify adverse neurodevelopmental effects in a fish-consuming population. METHODS We investigated 779(More)
Pregnant women consumed bread that was prepared from methylmercury-treated wheat. Single strands of maternal head hair were analyzed by x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The index of fetal exposure was the maximum hair mercury concentration during gestation. Effects were measured by the frequency of psychomotor retardation, seizures, and neurological signs(More)
Methylmercury (MeHg) is a human neurotoxin to which the developing fetal brain is especially sensitive. The lowest dose of MeHg that impairs neurodevelopment in the human fetus is not known. The Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) is testing the hypothesis that fetal MeHg exposure from a maternal diet high in oceanic fish is related to child(More)
Autopsy brains were obtained from infants dying from a variety of causes within a few days of birth in a population exposed to methylmercury in fish. Infant and maternal blood and hair samples were also obtained. The concentration of total mercury in 6 major brain regions were highly correlated with maternal hair levels. This correlation was confirmed by a(More)
INTRODUCTION People worldwide depend upon daily fish consumption as a major source of protein and other nutrients. Fish are high in nutrients essential for normal brain development, but they also contain methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxicant. Our studies in a population consuming fish daily have indicated no consistent pattern of adverse associations(More)
UNLABELLED Despite the importance of defining developmental consequences for humans of in utero exposure to low levels of methylmercury, it is not yet clear if there are postnatal effects in fish-eating populations. The Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS), now underway in the Republic of Seychelles, is following children to test the hypothesis that(More)
The Seychelles Child Development Study is examining the association between fetal methylmercury exposure from a maternal diet high in fish and subsequent child development. The study is double blind and uses maternal hair mercury as the index of fetal exposure. An initial cross-sectional pilot study of 804 infants aged 1 to 25 months suggested that mercury(More)
Mercury is ubiquitous in the global environment, ensuring universal exposure. Some forms of mercury are especially neurotoxic, including clinical signs at high doses. However, typical human exposures occur at low to moderate doses. Only limited data about neurotoxicity at low doses are available, and scientists differ in their interpretation. Dose-response(More)
Studies of outbreaks of methylmercury poisoning in Japan and Iraq from consumption of methylmercury (MeHg)-contaminated fish or bread proved that brain was the target organ, the toxic effects were dose-related, and the fetal brain was especially susceptible. Previous population studies suggested that a 5% risk of minimal fetal effect may be associated with(More)
The concentration of total mercury in maternal hair during pregnancy was used as a measure of fetal exposure to methylmercury in a study of a fish-eating population in the Seychelles islands. A segment of scalp hair approximately 10 centimeters in length, that grew during pregnancy, was selected for measurement. Total and inorganic mercury were measured by(More)