Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Lead to ADHD in Future Generations

Date:
February 27, 2014
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Prenatal exposure to nicotine could manifest as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children born a generation later, according to a new study. Researchers have found evidence that ADHD associated with nicotine can be passed across generations. In other words, your child’s ADHD might be an environmentally induced health condition inherited from your grandmother, who may have smoked cigarettes during pregnancy a long time ago. And the fact that you never smoked may be irrelevant for your child’s ADHD.

Your child's ADHD might be an environmentally induced health condition inherited from your grandmother, who may have smoked cigarettes during pregnancy a long time ago, research shows. And the fact that you never smoked may be irrelevant for your child's ADHD.
Credit: JcJg Photography / Fotolia

Prenatal exposure to nicotine could manifest as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children born a generation later, according to a new study by Florida State University College of Medicine researchers.

Professors Pradeep G. Bhide and Jinmin Zhu have found evidence that ADHD associated with nicotine can be passed across generations. In other words, your child's ADHD might be an environmentally induced health condition inherited from your grandmother, who may have smoked cigarettes during pregnancy a long time ago. And the fact that you never smoked may be irrelevant for your child's ADHD.

The researchers' findings are published in the current issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"What our research and other people's research is showing is that some of the changes in your genome -- whether induced by drugs or by experience -- may be permanent and you will transmit that to your offspring," said Bhide, chair of developmental neuroscience and director of the Center for Brain Repair at the College of Medicine.

Bhide and Zhu, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, used a mouse model to test the hypothesis that hyperactivity induced by prenatal nicotine exposure is transmitted from one generation to the next. Their data demonstrated that there is a transgenerational transmission via the maternal, but not the paternal, line of descent.

"Genes are constantly changing. Some are silenced and others are expressed, and that happens not only by hereditary mechanisms, but because of something in the environment or because of what we eat or what we see or what we hear," Bhide said. "So the genetic information that is transmitted to your offspring is qualitatively different than the information you got from your parents. This is how things change over time in the population."

Building on recent discoveries about how things like stress, fear or hormonal imbalance in one individual can be passed along to the next generation, Bhide and Zhu were curious about a proven link between prenatal nicotine exposure and hyperactivity in mice.

Their work at the Center for Brain Repair has included extensive research around ADHD, a neurobehavioral disorder affecting about 10 percent of children and 5 percent of adults in the United States. Researchers have struggled to produce a definitive scientific explanation for a spike in ADHD diagnoses in the last few decades.

"Some reports show up to a 40 percent increase in cases of ADHD -- in one generation, basically," Bhide said. "It cannot be because a mutation occurred; it takes several generations for that to happen."

One possible contributing factor, though unproven, is that the current spike in ADHD cases correlates in some manner to an increase in the number of women who smoked during pregnancy as cigarettes became fashionable in the United States around the time of World War II and in the decades that followed.

"Other research has shown a very high correlation between heavy smoking during pregnancy and the incidence of kids with ADHD," Bhide said.

"What's important about our study is that we are seeing that changes occurring in my grandparents' genome because of smoking during pregnancy are being passed to my child. So if my child had ADHD it might not matter that I did not have a disposition or that I never smoked."

Bhide cautions that the work, though conclusive, is based on a study in mice, which have served as a proxy for human phenotypes.

"It's not that every child born to a mother who smokes has ADHD, and it also isn't true that every person with ADHD will transmit the genetic material responsible," he said. "But our work has opened up new possibilities. The next question is how does transmission to future generations happen? What is the mechanism? And the second question is, if the individual is treated successfully would that stop the transmission to future generations?"


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Zhu, K. P. Lee, T. J. Spencer, J. Biederman, P. G. Bhide. Transgenerational Transmission of Hyperactivity in a Mouse Model of ADHD. Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 34 (8): 2768 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4402-13.2014

Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Lead to ADHD in Future Generations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227134708.htm>.
Florida State University. (2014, February 27). Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Lead to ADHD in Future Generations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227134708.htm
Florida State University. "Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Lead to ADHD in Future Generations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227134708.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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