Established in 2009, APrON is a cohort study that has approximately 5000 participants (2200 pregnant women, their offspring and many of their partners) developed by a team of expert researchers and clinicians from many disciplines including nutrition, psychology and psychiatry, family medicine, child development, neonatology (health of newborn infants), genetics, epidemiology (health of large populations) and biostatistics.
Initially the study intended to only follow the children until they were 3 years of age, however, the study has evolved over time to follow children until they are eight and potentially twelve-years of age. Depending on our funding, we hope to follow the families for a longer period of time period and potentially even when the APrON babies are parents themselves!
The rationale of the APrON study is based on lots of previous scientific studies on three topics:
- Nutrition affects mood
- Some nutrients might affect the events that happen around birth
- Prenatal nutrition might also have a significant influence on how a baby’s brain develops.
The primary aims of the APrON study looks at the relationships among:
1. maternal nutrient intake and status, before, during and after gestation, and
2. maternal mood
3. birth and obstetric outcomes
4. infant and child neurodevelopment.