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Nervenarzt. 2008 Jan;79(1):7-8, 10-2, 14-6.

[Effects of nicotine on neurodevelopment].

[Article in German]

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Psychiatrische Klinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, 40629, Düsseldorf.


Nicotine exposure during prenatal to adolescent neurodevelopment causes morphologic changes in the CNS and persistent alterations of neurotransmission systems. Maternal smoking on the one hand and nicotine dependency and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the offspring on the other are significantly associated. There is even evidence that nicotine abuse during adolescence may result in deficits of the brain's attentional network. In contrast, any effects of nicotine exposure on the development of various psychiatric diseases are still unclear. The somatic consequences of smoking and the resulting economic problems are already well known, but the effects of nicotine on neurodevelopment are still underestimated. More public awareness training and medical education are required to avoid nicotine abuse in pregnant women, children, and adolescents.

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