Thank you for your interest in CholKids!

CholKids (The Cornell Maternal Choline & Child Cognition Study) is a long-term follow up study exploring the effects of increased maternal choline intake during pregnancy and the early post-partum period on child cognition, temperament, and stress reactivity at age seven.

If you are a CholKids cohort member and are interested in participating in our follow-up, please see the Participants section below for more information!

If you and your 7-year old are interested in participating in our pilot study, please see the information below for more information!

Meet the people behind the project, we look forward to working with you!

Choline is an essential nutrient that is found in foods such as eggs, nuts, and beef. Although the current recommended choline intake for pregnant and lactating women is 450 mg/d, some research suggests that optimal intakes are greater. Seven years ago, pregnant and lactating women participated in our randomized choline feeding study at Cornell University, consuming either 480 mg or 930 mg of choline per day for 12 weeks. As part of our original study, we looked at the effect of increased maternal choline intake on their infant's learning, attention, and memory. We found significant improvements in attention and cognitive processing speed in the infants whose mothers received the higher level of choline during pregnancy!

Research suggests that the effects of increased maternal choline intake may be life-long but there are few studies that have looked at this possibility in humans. In CholKids, we will be following-up the children from our original randomized choline feeding study to determine if increased maternal choline intake has effects on child learning, memory, attention, temperament, and stress reactivity at age 7. In CholKids, we use a variety of common, child friendly tests to study the effect of maternal choline intake on child outcomes.

Purpose: To determine the effect of maternal choline intake during pregnancy or the early post-partum period on learning, memory, attention, temperament, and stress reactivity (with cortisol) in 7-year old children.

The results of this study will:
1. Help inform choline intake recommendations for pregnant and lactating women to promote optimal child brain development. 
2. Provide evidence for which periods of development might benefit the most from maternal choline supplementation. 
3. Help us learn more about the specific effects of increased maternal choline intake on children in the long-term.

Want to know more about the CholKids study?
Send us an email at cholkids@cornell.edu or call (607) 288-2861.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Study Details
You would bring your child 1-2 times to the Human Metabolic Research Unit (HMRU) at Martha van Rensselaer Hall at Cornell University. 
Free parking near Martha van Rensselaer Hall will be provided.
As a thank you for your participation you will receive $50 for each session attended.

We may ask your child to: 
1. Play games to test their learning, memory, and attention
2. Provide saliva samples before, during, and after the session

We may ask you to: 
1. Fill out surveys about your child's behavior and health history

Interested?
Contact us at cholkids@cornell.edu!

If you're interested in participating in or learning more about our study, please contact us at: cholkids@cornell.edu, (607) 288-2861

CholKids is taking place at Cornell University's Human Metabolic Research Unit (HMRU).

HMRU Address:
37 Forest Home Dr 
2nd Floor, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall 
Ithaca, NY 14850

How long will the study take?

You will be asked to participate in sessions on two consecutive, non-school days. Each session will take approximately 90 minutes.

What are the risks?

We believe that the risks of participating are minimal, but we will ensure the relative comfort of you and your child, and you or your child have the option to withdraw from any part of the study at any time.

Will I be compensated for my travel and time?

For completion of the each of the steps in the study, you will receive a payment and/or small gift outlined here: First Session: $50 Second Session: $50 and a small gift for your child Travel and lodging for CholKids participants traveling from outside of Tompkins County will be reimbursed

Can we participate in the study if we live outside of New York State?

Yes! For CholKids participants who reside outside of New York State, we will fully reimburse travel to and lodging in Ithaca, NY so that you and your child may have the opportunity to participate in this follow-up (e.g. airfare, hotel). If travel to Ithaca is not possible, we can also visit you and your child in your hometown. Testing would occur in a quiet, unfamiliar room similar to our testing center at Cornell University (e.g. an office or classroom at a local university). We will work with you to select the best option if you choose to participate.

Will I be given my child's test results?

All results (learning, memory, attention, temperament, and cortisol analyses) are collected for study purposes only and cannot be used in any clinical analysis. Therefore, we cannot give you your child's individual results. If you would like, at the end of the study, we can provide you with the group results.

Can I drop out at any time?

You and your child's participation is completely voluntary and that you may discontinue the study at any time. We as investigators have the discretion to also ask you to discontinue your participation if we deem appropriate.

Will my data be kept confidential?

Yes, your information will be kept confidential. All data and records will be labeled with a number code for confidentiality and kept in a locked office space. No one except the study investigators will know your number code. For more information please review the informed consent form.

Who we are recruiting:

We are currently recruiting women and their 7 year old children who previously participated in our choline feeding study during pregnancy or the early post-partum period.

What the study entails:

Two testing sessions on consecutive days, each session lasting approximately 90 minutes.

Testing sessions will occur at the Human Metabolic Research Unit (HMRU) in Martha van Rensselaer Hall at Cornell University. For participants who now reside outside of Tompkins County and the Finger Lakes, travel and lodging will be reimbursed or an alternative location for your testing sessions will be arranged in your home town.

Your child will be asked to:

Play games to test their memory, attention, and learning
Provide saliva samples before, during, and after the testing sessions

You will be asked to: 

Fill out questionnaires about your child's temperament, behavior, and health history
Collect saliva samples from your child at home

To show our appreciation: 

You will receive $100 after all parts of the study are completed. Additionally, your child will receive a small gift.

Any questions?

Please look at our FAQ's or contact us directly at cholkids@cornell.edu or (607) 288-2861

Interested?

Please contact us!

Dr. Barbara Strupp 
Principal Investigator
Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: nutrition and behavior; behavioral and cognitive neuroscience; choline supplementation

Dr. Marie Caudill
Principal Investigator
Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: choline; folate; fetal development; epigenetics; nutritional genomics

Dr. Richard Canfield
Co-Investigator
Senior Research Associate, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: infant and child development; choline supplementation; developmental psychology; lead exposure

Dr. Julia Finkelstein
Co-Investigator
Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: epidemiology; maternal and child nutrition; vitamin B12; iron

Dr. Julie Nevins
Post-Doctoral Research Assistant
Teaching and Research Fellow, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: maternal and child nutrition; iron deficiency; choline supplementation; cognitive development; cognitive neuroscience

Charlotte Bahnfleth
Pre-Doctoral Research Assistant
Doctoral Student, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: child development; maternal and child nutrition; cognitive development; choline supplementation

Bailey Drewes
Pre-Doctoral Research Assistant
Doctoral Student, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: child development, maternal and child nutrition, choline supplementation, temperament

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Nicole Cruz
Class of 2017
Major: Human Biology, Health and Society
Fun Fact: Nicole has hiked Macchu Picchu! 

Zoee D'Costa
Class of 2019
Major: Psychology
Fun Fact: Zoee is on the Cornell Varsity Fencing Team!

Avery Faucette
Class of 2018
Major: Human Biology, Health and Society
Fun Fact: Avery's favorite place in the world is Disney World!

Carrie Freeman
Class of 2017
Major: Biology and Society

Kristin Hardy
Class of 2017
Major: Biological Sciences
Fun Fact: Kristin enjoys cooking and baking in her free time!

Brianna Lauren
Class of 2018
Major: Human Biology, Health and Society
Fun Fact: Brianna knows how to slackline!

Diane Tarira
Class of 2018
Major: Psychology
Fun Fact: Diane is a bird lover!

Vivian Zhang
Major: Human Development
Class of 2018
Fun Fact: Vivian loves to hike, ski, and travel to cold places!