Persistent tobacco use by the mother during pregnancy may be associated with longer brain development for the offspring, as indicated by a The study published in the scientific journal ‘JAMA Network’.
impaired cognitive ability
There is increasing evidence that tobacco use during pregnancy impairs neurological development in offspring. These problems include impaired cognitive ability, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia spectrum disorder.
study, conducted by Researchers from the University Medical Center Rotterdam (Netherlands)explored the association between a mother who smoked tobacco during her pregnancy and its mediated pathways, including brain development before adolescence. Paternal smoking was used as a negative control for familial smoking and shared genetics.
The study recruited 9,778 pregnant women who gave birth between April 2002 and January 2006. Of these, 2,047 were included in the study.
adolescent brain morphology
Researchers gave first-time mothers a questionnaire about their tobacco use during each trimester. Next, the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to assess pre-adolescent brain morphology, collecting information on brain volume and surface-based cortical measures. They quantified DNA methylation using a weighted methylation risk score.
Persistent tobacco use during pregnancy was positively associated with offspring with reduced global and regional brain volume, which was maintained as the child progressed to 9–11 years of age.
The brain surface area in the offspring was also significantly smaller, and subsequent imaging revealed less gyrification among the 10-year-old participants.
According to the researchers, although tobacco exposure is an important environmental factor associated with DNA methylation, there is no evidence linking maternal smoking with DNA methylation at birth.
impact from 10 years
These results suggest that children who were systematically exposed to tobacco in the womb had compromised brain development 10 years later.
Nicotine may be a factor in this finding., as shown in animal models, induces apoptotic cell death that can shrink the embryonic brain and remain contractile as the progeny grows. In addition, recent studies have linked tobacco to decreased cranial capacity, Which can restrict long-term brain development.
Researchers didn’t see No association between father’s tobacco use and the morphology of the child’s brain. Therefore, familial factors or shared genetics are not thought to contribute to this sub-optimal pre-adolescent brain development.
quit smoking while pregnant
The study authors hypothesized that continued tobacco use during pregnancy affects brain development more than smoking in the early stages. Researchers now recommend quitting tobacco before a planned pregnancy or when a pregnancy is discovered to protect the baby’s optimal brain development.
According to the researchers, future studies may look at brain morphology and neurological consequences to explore the clinical relevance of smoking.