University Study Finds Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant Can Impact Future Generations of Offspring

Most mothers-to-be know that drinking alcohol is not recommended during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder has been shown to produce learning disabilities and many other problems.

But a new study by Kelly Huffman, a professor pf psychology at the University of California, Riverside, shows that drinking alcohol during pregnancy may not only affect a woman’s unborn child, but may also impact brain development and lead to adverse outcomes in her future grand- and even great-grandchildren. Experimenting with mice, Dr. Huffman found that in utero exposure to alcohol generated neurobiological and behavioral effects in subsequent generations of mice that had no ethanol exposure. The study concluded that alcohol consumption while pregnant leads to a cascade of nervous system changes that ultimately impact behavior that can produce transgenerational effects.

The full study, “Prenatal Ethanol Exposure and Neocortical Development: A Transgenerational Model of FASD,” was published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. It may be accessed here.

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