Understanding the Brain

Children's Health Act

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The Children's Health Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-310 Sec. 1004) is a legislative measure, passed by the United States Congress, which directs federal agencies to undertake a national, long-term study of children's health and development in relation to environmental exposures; specifically diseases that are increasingly prevalent in the United States, such as autism and asthma.

Seven existing Vanguard centers, located primarily at major research universities across the US, are scheduled start enrolling pregnant women during 2008 as part of the planned National Children's Study. The projected twenty-five year study is expected to recruit 100,000 children from before birth to age twenty-one. An additional twenty-two centers are slated to be added as part of the $3.2 billion project aimed at finding cures to some of the nation's most pressing health problems. The study will be the largest ever to look at the ways in which environment and genetics interact to influence child health and human development.

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