Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood

Research

The CANDLE Study

Objectives
The long term objective of this study is to provide information that will ultimately lead to improvements in the health, development, and well-being of children in Shelby County, TN through interventions and policy enforcement and/or development. The primary goal of CANDLE is to investigate the separate and combined effects of the mother’s prenatal actions, the home environment and childhood experiences, the exposure to potentially harmful toxins, and the genetic make-up of the child on his/her brain development from birth to three years of age.

Specific Research Aims

  • To estimate the effect of in utero exposure to environmental toxins on birth outcomes and neurocognitive development in children’s first 3 years of life
  • To determine if nutrition factors (pre-natal and infant diet) improve cognitive function during the first years of life
  • To explore psychosocial phenomena and patterns of mothers and children, and to assess effects of intra- and inter-personal factors and social development on cognitive development in children over time
  • To identify the genetic variants that contribute to mothers and children’s responses to the nutrient intake, physical and psychosocial environment, and that consequently contribute to birth weight and neurocognitive development

(May 2011)

The CANDLE Study: Preschool Evaluation

Objectives
The purpose of this study is to provide further information that will ultimately lead to improvements in the health, development and well-being of children in Shelby County. The primary goal of CANDLE Extended Follow-Up is to investigate the separate and combined effects of family interactions, the home environment, childhood experiences, exposure to potentially harmful toxins, the genetic make-up of the child on his/her development, and school readiness at age 4-5.