Functional and Anatomic Consequences of Diabetic Pregnancy on Memory in Ten-Year-Old Children

Adeline Jabès, Kathleen M. Thomas, Sara Langworthy, Michael K. Georgieff, Charles A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Pregnancies complicated by diabetes mellitus impair offspring memory functions during infancy and early childhood. The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term consequences of such pregnancies on memory and memory-related brain regions in 10-year-old children. Methods: Nineteen children of diabetic mothers (CDMs) and 35 children of nondiabetic mothers participated in this 10-year follow-up study. Memory performance was assessed using a continuous recognition memory task during which children made old/new judgments in response to pictures of concrete and abstract objects presented after different lags or delays. In addition, the volume of the hippocampal formation (HF) was measured using high-resolution structural images. Results: At 10 years of age, recognition memory performance of CDMs did not differ from children of nondiabetic mothers. Similarly, the volume of the HF did not differ between groups. However, the size of the HF in CDMs predicted the time those children needed to provide accurate responses in the continuous recognition memory task. Conclusions: CDMs do not show memory impairments by 10 years of age, despite evidence for such impairments early in life. However, subtle differences in underlying neural processes may still be present. These results have important implications for long-term cognitive development of CDMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 12 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


  • declarative memory
  • development
  • developmental plasticity
  • hippocampal formation


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