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Prenatal nicotine exposure may lead to ADHD in future generations
Date:3/5/2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. 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
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Contact: Doug Carlson
doug.carlson@med.fsu.edu
850-645-1255
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

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