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J Addict Dis. 2010 Apr;29(2):259-76. doi: 10.1080/10550881003684921.

Children of addicted women.

Author information

1
Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, RI 02905, USA. blester@wihri.org

Abstract

The purpose of this article was to review follow up studies of children with prenatal drug exposure from preschool through adolescence. Specifically, the authors focus on the effects of prenatal exposure to cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates on behavior and development. The largest number of studies have examined cocaine-exposed children. The authors identified 42 studies that suggest that there are unique effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on 4- to 13-year-old children, particularly in the areas of behavior problems, attention, language, and cognition. In addition, studies make reasonable attempts to control for possible confounding factors. Systematic research on the long-term effects of prenatal methamphetamine exposure is just beginning but seems to be showing similar effects to that of cocaine. The literature on the on the long-term effects of children with prenatal opiate exposure is more substantial than the methamphetamine literature but it is still relatively sparse and surprising in that there is little recent work. Thus, there are no studies on the current concerns with opiates used for prescription mediation. There is a growing literature using neuroimaging techniques to study the effects of prenatal drug exposure that holds promise for understanding brain/behavior relationships. In addition to pharmacological and teratogenic effects, drugs can also be viewed from a prenatal stressor model. The author discuss this "fetal origins" approach that involves fetal programming and the neuroendocrine system and the potential implications for adolescent brain and behavioral development.

PMID:
20407981
PMCID:
PMC4451952
DOI:
10.1080/10550881003684921
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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