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Neuroimage. 2008 Apr 1;40(2):435-441. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.10.066. Epub 2007 Dec 23.

Corpus callosum in adolescent offspring exposed prenatally to maternal cigarette smoking.

Author information

1
Brain and Body Centre, University of Nottingham, UK; Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: tomas.paus@nottingham.ac.uk.
2
Brain and Body Centre, University of Nottingham, UK.
3
Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
4
Université de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Groupe ECOBES, CEGEP Jonquiere, Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Quebec in Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada.
6
Brain and Body Centre, University of Nottingham, UK; Université de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

Teratogens, such as alcohol or anti-epileptic drugs, affect the size of the corpus callosum. Here we report findings obtained in a case-control study that investigated possible effects of teratogens contained in cigarette smoke on the size and structural properties of this structure. We recruited and scanned with magnetic resonance imaging a total of 408 adolescents (12 to 18 years of age); a subsample of 300 adolescents is considered in this report. Cases (n=146) were exposed to maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy; non-exposed controls (n=154) were matched to cases by maternal education. We measured the size of corpus callosum (CC) and its sections (corrected for brain size), as well as mean values of magnetization-transfer ratio (MTR) in each CC section. Corpus callosum, and especially its posterior part, was smaller in the exposed vs. non-exposed female adolescents; no significant effects were found in males. Exposed and non-exposed subjects did not differ in the MTR-based index of myelination in either gender in any CC section. Given the lack of exposure effect on the myelination index, this finding might reflect a lower number of inter-hemispheric connections in female offspring of mothers who smoked during pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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