TODAY   |  February 25, 2014

Study: Tylenol during pregnancy linked to ADHD

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News’ chief medical editor, joins TODAY to chat about the latest health news, including a study that correlates prolonged Tylenol use by pregnant women with the likelihood of a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in their children.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's get more on this and the other headlines making news in the medical world, dr. nancy snyder. what do you make of this? what a strange situation.

>> well, it's a rare phenomenon. not even a cluster according to the cdc, but they're taking it seriously, looking at a virus or something autoimmune. they'll find it and it is a reminder to parents that this is not polio. it is polio-like. and in the meantime, keep up your vaccinations.

>> let's talk about some of the other big things going on. tylenol which is one of the medicines pregnant women were permitted to take. now there's a study that correlates tylenol usage during pregnancy and adhd.

>> this is a really important study. i think it's a real wake-up call for women during pregnancy and for doctors. over 60,000 women who took the active ingredient in tylenol had a 37% higher chance of having kids with severe adhd. but two very important things, these are women who took it over multiple trimesters and women who took it for longer periods of time. this is a very safe medication and it's a good reminder for people that when you need any medicine, only for a short duration, minimal dose and don't take it too long.

>> and people who test poz fsitive for the gene mutation . and dramatic advice from doctors.

>> i think this is the game-changer news of perhaps the year. and the recommendation is that if you have the mutation on your gene to go ahead and have your ovaries taken out by the time you're 35 to prevent your risk of ovarian cancer and death. and the numbers are high. 77 and 80%. so this just now no doubt about it. this is a bad genetic mutation to have. so i want to tell people that if you have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer on either side of the family, talk to your doctor about getting tested. if you are one of those people that has this mutation, then talk to a doctor about harvesting your eggs and embryos. there's no reason not to have a family, but you have to make very big decisions at a young stage in your life.

>> dramatic reality hitting home for