Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoking during pregnancy may harm the child’s motor control and coordination

Date:
September 23, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
Women who smoke during pregnancy run the risk of adversely affecting their children's coordination and physical control according to a new study. Boys' abilities may be affected to a greater extent than those of girls, according to the research.

Women who smoke during pregnancy run the risk of adversely affecting their children's coordination and physical control according to a new study from ึrebro University, Sweden, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

"Moreover, we discovered that boys' abilities may be affected to a greater extent than those of girls," says Professor Scott Montgomery at ึrebro University.

"There is a link between nicotine and testosterone. Nicotine can influence development of the brain and interacts with testosterone particularly during the foetal stage, and this could make boys extra susceptible to foetal nicotine exposure," says Matz Larsson, researcher in medicine and consultant physician at ึrebro University Hospital.

The results are based on a study of over 13,000 children taking part in the National Child Development Study. The children, all born in Great Britain in the same week in March 1958, are followed throughout their lives. The smoking habits of the mothers during pregnancy were also recorded.

At the age of eleven, the children were tested by a school doctor in terms of physical control and coordination. They were set the task of picking up 20 matches against time -- both with their left and right hand. They had to tick up to 200 squares against time and copy a simple figure.

The children with mothers who had smoked at least nine cigarettes a day during pregnancy had greater difficulty completing the tests -- especially when using their non-dominant hand, which for most of us is the left hand.

"Our findings suggest that women who smoke during pregnancy run the risk of harming the child's motor ability. There may be several reasons behind this. The nicotine interacts with acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter and messenger when the brain is developing during the foetal stage. But it might also be the case that the mother's smoking leads to a form of foetal malnutrition," says Matz Larsson.

"We believe this is an interesting study as it is based on physical tests rather than cognitive, which are dependent on, for example, elements of learning. That makes our results less sensitive to the influence of social and economic factors. Other factors linked to the mother's smoking may still have affected the result, but the difference in motor abilities remained even after a check for such factors," says Scott Montgomery.

"These findings also help us to understand why neurological function in childhood is linked with adverse health outcomes in later life such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, as these are also associated with maternal smoking during pregnancy. In addition, it is important to take note of even a slight impairment in childhood. Quite often it can be linked to a more rapid decline in motor function and health later on in life," says Scott Montgomery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Larsson, S. M. Montgomery. Maternal smoking during pregnancy and physical control and coordination among offspring. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2010; DOI: 10.1136/jech.2008.085241

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "Smoking during pregnancy may harm the child’s motor control and coordination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922081758.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2010, September 23). Smoking during pregnancy may harm the child’s motor control and coordination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922081758.htm
Expertanswer. "Smoking during pregnancy may harm the child’s motor control and coordination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922081758.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins