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Visual evoked potentials in infants exposed to methadone in utero
  1. Laura McGlone (mcglonelaura{at}hotmail.com)
  1. Princess Royal Maternity, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    1. Helen Mactier (helen.mactier{at}northglasgow.scot.nhs.uk)
    1. Princess Royal Maternity, Glasgow, United Kingdom
      1. Ruth Hamilton (r.hamilton{at}clinmed.gla.ac.uk)
      1. Royal Hospital for Sick Children, The Queen Mother's Hospital and University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
        1. Michael S Bradnam (michael.bradnam{at}yorkhill.scot.nhs.uk)
        1. Royal Hospital for Sick Children, The Queen Mother's Hospital and University of Glasgow., United Kingdom
          1. Richard G Boulton (richard.boulton{at}northglasgow.scot.nhs.uk)
          1. Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow, United Kingdom
            1. William Borland (bill.borland{at}northglasgow.scot.nhs.uk)
            1. Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, United Kingdom
              1. Mary Hepburn (mary.hepburn{at}clinmed.gla.ac.uk)
              1. Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow, United Kingdom
                1. Daphne L McCulloch (d.l.mcculloch{at}gcal.ac.uk)
                1. Vision Sciences, Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom

                  Abstract

                  Objective: To investigate effects of maternal drug misuse on neonatal visual evoked potentials (VEPs). Methods: Flash VEPs were recorded within 4 days of birth from 21 term infants of drug-misusing mothers prescribed substitute methadone and 20 controls. Waveforms were classified as typical, atypical, immature or non-detectable, and amplitude and latencies measured. Results: VEPs from drug-exposed infants were less likely to be of typical waveform and more likely to be immature or non-detectable (p<0.01) than those of control infants. They were also smaller in amplitude (median 10.8 v 24.4microvolts, p<0.001). VEPs of drug-exposed infants had matured after one week but remained of lower amplitude than VEPs of newborn controls (P<0.01) and non-detectable in 15%. Conclusion: Flash VEPs differ between maternal drug-exposed and non drug-exposed newborns. Future research should address specific effects of maternal methadone and/or other illicit drug misuse on infant VEPs, and associations between neonatal VEPs and subsequent visual development.

                  • Visual evoked potentials
                  • drug misuse
                  • in utero
                  • methadone

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