The Brown Center For The

Study Of Children At Risk

Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk
50 Holden Street
Providence RI 02908

Academic Administration:
(401) 453-7640

Clinical Services:
(401) 274-1122
x8936 or x8935

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Linda LaGasse, PhD - Director, Research

Dr. LaGasse is an Associate Professor (Research) in the Department of Pediatrics and the Director of Research of the Brown Center for the Study of Infants at Risk . Dr. LaGasse’s primary research area is the effects of prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse on development including early infant cry, cognitive-motor processes like goal directed reaching, later behavior problems and psychopathology as well as obesity in preadolescents. She has been studying children who are part of the multi-site, NIH Maternal Lifestyle Study (MLS), a longitudinal study of 1000 children prenatally exposed to cocaine. The MLS children are now adolescents and current work focuses on the etiology of poor behavioral and health outcomes, including predictors of obesity (MLS children exceed the national average for obesity), and pathways to antisocial behavior and early substance use. Dr. LaGasse is also studying children who are part of the multi-site NIH Infant Development, Environment, and Lifestyle Study (IDEAL), a longitudinal study of 400 children prenatally exposed to methamphetamine during pregnancy. In addition, Dr. LaGasse has established a companion international study in New Zealand extending her work on prenatal methamphetamine exposure and child outcome. which is the first cross-cultural study of prenatal drug exposure on development. Additionally, Dr. LaGasse is the scientific administrator for the MLS and IDEAL studies, which includes protocol development and implementation, oversight of site adherence to protocol, and oversight of the Neurobehavioral Data Center that conducts data reduction and analysis.

Selected Publications

  • LaGasse, L. L., Wouldes, T., Newman, E., Smith L.M., Shah, R.Z., Derauf C., Huestis, M.A., Arria, A.M., DellaGrotta S., Wilcox, T., Lester B. M. Prenatal methamphetamine exposure and neonatal neurobehavioral outcome in the USA and New Zealand. Neurotoxicology and Teratology (in press).
  • Smith, L.M., LaGasse, L.L., Derauf, C., Grant, P., Shah, R., Arria, A., Huestis, M., Haning W., Strauss, A., DellaGrotta, S., Fallone, M., Liu, J., Lester, B.M. Prenatal methamphetamine (MA) use and neonatal neurobehavioral outcome: Preliminary results from the Infant Development, Environment, and Lifestyle Study (IDEAL). Revised/resubmitted to Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2008;30:20-28. PMC 2358984
  • Lester, B.M., LaGasse, L.L., Shankaran, S., Bada, H.S., Bauer, C.R., Lin, R., Das, A., Higgins, R. Prenatal cocaine exposure related to cortisol stress reactivity in 11-year-old children. Journal of Pediatrics 2010;175(2):288-295.
  • LaGasse, L. L., Neal, A. R., Lester, B. M. Assessment of infant cry: Acoustic cry analysis and parental perception. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities 2005 (11), 83-93.
  • LaGasse L., Messinger D., Lester B., Seifer, R., Bauer, C., Shankaran, S., Bada, H., Wright, L., Smeriglio, V., Poole, K., Liu, E.  Prenatal drug exposure & maternal & infant feeding behavior.  Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2003 (88), F391-F399.