A study recently released online suggests that low folate levels in pregnant women are associated with their offspring having higher odds of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by the time they reach 7 or 9 years old. This study seem to reinforce the belief that folate levels in pregnant women seem to affect the nervous system development of the unborn child.
The study, which will be part of the upcoming issue of Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, also found out that children born from mothers with low folate levels also have notable smaller head circumferences at birth. This may suggest that the children undergo through a slower rate of pre-natal brain growth and development.
According to study author Wolff Schlotz, "Our findings further support the hypothesis that maternal nutrition contributes to an individual’s development, with potential consequences for their behavior later in life".
The study results may be of concern especially for pregnant mothers who belong to low-income families who might also have a lower priority on maternal health and nutrition during pregnancy. The study also suggests the long held fact that taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy may help ensure proper growth and development of the unborn child, among many other factors.