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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(1), 229-268; doi:10.3390/ijerph7010229
Article

Advancing the Selection of Neurodevelopmental Measures in Epidemiological Studies of Environmental Chemical Exposure and Health Effects

1
, 2,3,4,* , 5
, 6
, 7
, 8
, 9
, 10
 and 5
1 Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, CB 3270, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA 2 LaKind Associates, LLC, 106 Oakdale Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228, USA 3 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA 4 Department of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA 5 Children's National Medical Center, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology and Psychiatry, George Washington University School of Medicine, 15245 Shady Grove Road, Suite 350, Rockville, MD 20850, USA 6 Center for Development and Learning, The Kennedy Krieger Institute, Department of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 707 North Broadway Baltimore, MD 21205, USA 7 Department of Epidemiology, Emory University School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322, USA 8 Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 11 South Paca Street, 2nd Floor Baltimore, MD 21201, USA 9 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Building 31, Room 1B44, Bethesda MD 20892-7510, USA 10 Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, Department of Pediatrics, 3300 Whitehaven Street, NW, #3300, Washington, DC 20007, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2009 / Accepted: 11 January 2010 / Published: 19 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
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Abstract

With research suggesting increasing incidence of pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders, questions regarding etiology continue to be raised. Neurodevelopmental function tests have been used in epidemiology studies to evaluate relationships between environmental chemical exposures and neurodevelopmental deficits. Limitations of currently used tests and difficulties with their interpretation have been described, but a comprehensive critical examination of tests commonly used in studies of environmental chemicals and pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders has not been conducted. We provide here a listing and critical evaluation of commonly used neurodevelopmental tests in studies exploring effects from chemical exposures and recommend measures that are not often used, but should be considered. We also discuss important considerations in selecting appropriate tests and provide a case study by reviewing the literature on polychlorinated biphenyls.
Keywords: neurodevelopmental measures; neurodevelopment; polychlorinated biphenyls; PCBs; children’s health; domain; psychometrics; developmental epidemiology neurodevelopmental measures; neurodevelopment; polychlorinated biphenyls; PCBs; children’s health; domain; psychometrics; developmental epidemiology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Youngstrom, E.; S. LaKind, J.; Kenworthy, L.; Lipkin, P.H.; Goodman, M.; Squibb, K.; R. Mattison, D.; J. Anthony, B.; Gutermuth Anthony, L. Advancing the Selection of Neurodevelopmental Measures in Epidemiological Studies of Environmental Chemical Exposure and Health Effects. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 229-268.

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