Background image

USDTL Assisted Research

Prenatal Methamphetamine Use and Neonatal Neurobehavioral Outcome

Lynne M. Smith, MD, Linda L. LaGasse, PhD, Chris Derauf, MD, Penny Grant, MD, Rizwan Shah, MD, Amelia Arria, PhD, Marilyn Huestis, PhD, William Haning, MD, Arthur Strauss, MD, Sheri Della Grotta, MPH, Melissa Fallone, PhD, Jing LiuPhD, Barry M. Lester, PhD

First Published: 03 October 2007 DIO: 10.1016/

Los Angeles Biomedical Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and David Geffen, School of Medicine at UCLA, Torrace, CA, USA.


Baby diapers

Baby diapers | Sourced by Adobe Stock©


Methamphetamine (MA) use among pregnant women is an increasing problem in the United States. How prenatal MA exposure affects neonatal neurobehavior is unknown.


To examine the neurobehavioral effects of prenatal MA exposure.


The Infant Development, Environment and Lifestyle (IDEAL) study screened 13,808 subjects and 1632 were eligible and consented. 166 (n=74 exposed) were enrolled in a longitudinal follow up. Exposure was determined by meconium assay and self-report with alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco present in both groups. The NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) was administered within the first 5 days of life. Analyses conducted on NNNS summary scores included exposure group effects, heavy MA use effects, association with frequency of use by trimester, and dose-response relationships with amphetamine metabolites.


After adjusting for covariates, exposure to MA was associated with increased physiological stress. Heavy MA use was related to lower arousal, more lethargy, and increased physiological stress. First trimester MA use was related to elevated physiological stress. Third trimester use was related to poorer quality of movement. Higher level of amphetamine metabolites in meconium was associated with increased CNS stress.


Prenatal MA exposure was associated with neurobehavioral patterns of decreased arousal, increased stress, and poor quality of movement. The dose response relationships may represent neurotoxic effects from MA.

Keywords: prenatal exposure, neurodevelopment, drug, meconium


Read the Full Article      Learn More on Newborn Testing

Contact USDTL


Client Services

By Phone: 1.800.235.2367
Business Hours (CST)
Monday....................7am-7pm Tuesday....................7am-7pm Wednesday.............7am-7pm Thursday..................7am-7pm Friday........................7am-7pm Saturday...................8am-5pm

Contact Client Services

Newsletters, Posters, and Catalogs

Our print materials will keep you up to date on the latest news in drug and alcohol testing.

Request Literature

Request Your Collection Supplies

For your convenience, USDTL provides test collection supplies at no additional charge.

Order Supplies