The CANDLE Study
Lighting the way to a brighter future for Shelby County babies!
What is the CANDLE study?

  CANDLE is an observational research study of the development and ability to learn in children from birth to age three. The Candle study will enroll 1500 healthy pregnant women in Shelby County.

Having to do with the ability to think and reason. This includes the ability to concentrate, remember things, process information, learn, speak, and understand.

The study name "CANDLE" stands for Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive  Development and Learning in Early Childhood.

What is the Purpose of the Candle study?

The purpose of the Candle study is to identify factors during a pregnancy and baby's first three years that impact the baby's development and ability to learn.
  Special note:
  Women who join the CANDLE study will continue to receive prenatal care and education from their own obstetrician. They will not be asked to take any study medications or change any of their eating or health habits.
  What questions do the CANDLE researchers want to answer?
  • What is the effect of a mother's home environment, prenatal habits, and nutrition intake, on the child's development and ability to learn?

  • What is the effect of a child's home environment, parental and non-parental care (daycare, grandparents or other babysitters etc.), and health care on the child's development and ability to learn?

  • What is the effect of exposure to toxins before and after birth on a child's development and ability to learn?

  • What is the effect of genetics on a child's development and ability to learn?

  •   How will they learn the answers?
      The CANDLE research study staff will follow healthy pregnant Shelby County women through their pregnancy and delivery, and continue to follow their babies until the baby is three years old. "CANDLE Moms" will provide information by completing questionnaires and providing routine lab samples. Information about "CANDLE babies" will be gathered when a mom answers questions about her baby (health, eating and sleeping habits) and when the baby is assessed by a child development specialist each year. During the approximately three and a half years that a woman and baby are part of the CANDLE study there are a total of 8 CANDLE visits. CANDLE moms will receive gift cards at each visit as our way of saying "Thank you for being such an important part of this important study!"

      CANDLE Visit Schedule
  • Two Prenatal CANDLE Clinic* Visits: These visits include questionnaires and a blood and urine sample.
  •   $50 gift card given at the 1st visit
      $30 gift card given at the 2nd visit

  • Three Follow-up CANDLE Clinic Visits for Mother and Baby at 1, 2, & 3 years of age: Mom will fill out questionnaires and baby will receive cognitive and language skills assessments by a child development specialist. Clinic staff will take standard measurements of growth.
  •   $100 gift card is given at each visit
  • Other CANDLE visits:

  • When your baby is born: You will receive a brief hospital visit from a CANDLE staff member before you go home. During delivery, hospital labor and delivery staff will routinely collect maternal blood, urine and umbilical cord blood samples.

  • $50 gift card given at the hospital

  • Two home visits: (one month and 24 months after delivery): Mom will answer questions about herself and her baby.

  • $35 gift card given at each visit

  • Brief Phone visits: Our friendly CANDLE staff will contact moms periodically to collect health and dietary information and give appointment reminders.

  • CANDLE clinic visits will be scheduled at 756 Ridge Lake Boulevard, Suite 206 in East Memphis, or 66 N. Pauline, Suite 501 in Midtown