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Welcome to The Visible Embryo, a comprehensive educational resource on human development from conception to birth.

The Visible Embryo provides visual references for changes in fetal development throughout pregnancy and can be navigated via fetal development or maternal changes.

The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development awarded Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research Grants to develop The Visible Embryo. Initally designed to evaluate the internet as a teaching tool for first year medical students, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than one million visitors each month.

Today, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than 1 million visitors each month. The field of early embryology has grown to include the identification of the stem cell as not only critical to organogenesis in the embryo, but equally critical to organ function and repair in the adult human. The identification and understanding of genetic malfunction, inflammatory responses, and the progression in chronic disease, begins with a grounding in primary cellular and systemic functions manifested in the study of the early embryo.

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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
CLICK ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts |News Archive Feb 5, 2015

No single gene has been linked to a significant percentage of ADHD cases,
suggesting that environmental factors may strongly contribute to this condition.

 






 

 

Insecticides with pyrethroids linked to ADHD

Rutgers University suggests pregnant women exposed to common pesticides may bear children suseptible to ADHD.

A commonly used pesticide may alter the development of the brain's dopamine system — responsible for emotional expression and cognitive function — and increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, according to a new Rutgers study.

The research published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), by Rutgers scientists and colleagues from Emory University, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Wake Forest University discovered that mice exposed to the pyrethroid pesticide deltamethrin in utero and through lactation exhibited several features of ADHD, including dysfunctional dopamine signaling in the brain, hyperactivity, working memory, attention deficits and impulsive-like behavior.

These findings provide strong evidence, using data from animal models and humans, that exposure to pyrethroid pesticides, including deltamethrin, may be a risk factor for ADHD, says lead author Jason Richardson, associate professor in the Department and Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a member of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI).

"Although we can't change genetic susceptibility to ADHD, there may be modifiable environmental factors, including exposures to pesticides that we should be examining in more detail," says Richardson.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder most often affects children, with an estimated 11 percent of children between the ages of 4-17- about 6.4 million - diagnosed as of 2011. Boys are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.

While early symptoms, including an inability to sit still, pay attention and follow directions, begin between the ages of 3 to 6, diagnosis is usually made after the child starts attending school full time.


Importantly, the male mice were affected more than the female mice, similar to what is observed in children with ADHD. The ADHD-like behaviors persisted in the mice through adulthood, even though the pesticide, considered to be less toxic and used on golf courses, in the home, and on gardens, lawns and vegetable crops, was no longer detected in their system.

There is strong scientific evidence that genetics plays a role in susceptibility to the disorder, but no specific gene has been found that causes ADHD and scientists believe that environmental factors may also contribute to the development of the behavioral condition.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) the study analyzed health care questionnaires and urine samples of 2,123 children and adolescents. Researchers asked parents whether a physician had ever diagnosed their child with ADHD and cross-referenced each child's prescription drug history to determine if any of the most common ADHD medications had been prescribed. Children with higher pyrethroid pesticide metabolite levels in their urine were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.


Young children and pregnant women may be more susceptible to pesticide exposure because their bodies do not metabolize the chemicals as quickly.

This is why, Richardson says, human studies need to be conducted to determine how exposure affects the developing fetus and young children.


"We need to make sure these pesticides are being used correctly and not unduly expose those who may be at a higher risk," Richardson says.

Abstract
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is estimated to affect 8–12% of school-age children worldwide. ADHD is a complex disorder with significant genetic contributions. However, no single gene has been linked to a significant percentage of cases, suggesting that environmental factors may contribute to ADHD. Here, we used behavioral, molecular, and neurochemical techniques to characterize the effects of developmental exposure to the pyrethroid pesticide deltamethrin. We also used epidemiologic methods to determine whether there is an association between pyrethroid exposure and diagnosis of ADHD. Mice exposed to the pyrethroid pesticide deltamethrin during development exhibit several features reminiscent of ADHD, including elevated dopamine transporter (DAT) levels, hyperactivity, working memory and attention deficits, and impulsive-like behavior. Increased DAT and D1 dopamine receptor levels appear to be responsible for the behavioral deficits. Epidemiologic data reveal that children aged 6–15 with detectable levels of pyrethroid metabolites in their urine were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Our epidemiologic finding, combined with the recapitulation of ADHD behavior in pesticide-treated mice, provides a mechanistic basis to suggest that developmental pyrethroid exposure is a risk factor for ADHD.—Richardson, J. R., Taylor, M. M., Shalat, S. L., Guillot III, T. S., Caudle, W. M., Hossain, M. M., Mathews, T. A., Jones, S. R., Cory-Slechta, D. A., Miller, G. W. Developmental pesticide exposure reproduces features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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