The BiSC project is readjusting to the context of the COVID-19 pandemic!

As in many other professional fields, and also in our personal lives, the COVID-19 pandemic has also forced the readjustment of the BiSC Project. The research team and the group of field workers who make the project possible have had to readjust the contact and interaction with future mothers, the collection of biological samples, the measures of exposure to pollution in the homes of the participating families, as well as the protocol for monitoring babies who have been born since March.

MRI: Unfortunately for several months we have not been able to do MRI on 27 day old babies; many families have shown interest in taking this test. The good news is that a week ago we were able to restart the test! So, we expect a high participation, because we need to make up for lost time!

Eye-tracking: best news! In 6-month-old babies, we have also started the test called “Eye-tracking”, which consists of recording and studying the movements of the eyes when following a moving object. or another visual stimulus, used to assess the reaction to the visual presentation of information. In this case, we also expect high participation, as this is an innovative test to explore the effects of air pollution on the development of babies.

Mental and psychomotor neurodevelopment: Finally, the BiSC project aims to assess the mental and psychomotor neurodevelopment of infants through the Bayley’s Scale; this test requires close interaction with the psychologist performing the test. Due to the pandemic, we had to stop the test, and now we are studying how to carry it out so that it is done with the proper health guarantees and following the protocol that gives validity to the test. We hope to give you good news soon because we know it’s a test that interests you a lot too! For now, our fantastic Muriel, the project psychologist, will send you alternative questionnaires, the DP3 and the McArthur, which also provide very valuable information about the neurodevelopment of your sons and daughters. We would like to point out that the Bayley Scale was intended to be applied at 6 and 18 months; hoping to be able to take the test again, we have decided to extend the follow-up age to 24 months of age of the babies, to see if with a little luck the conditions are already in place to be able to take the test. in most participants, even later than expected.

Meanwhile, the BiSC project is still more alive than ever and looking forward to moving forward!

The text has been written by Mireia Gascón, a researcher from the BiSC project.