Environmental factors such as maternal smoking can significantly modulate genetically programmed brain development during foetal life. This review looks at how prenatal smoking exposure modulates brain development, including new evidence on the effects of smoking on foetal brain development and function.
Conclusion: Smoking during pregnancy exposes the foetus to thousands of health-threatening chemicals, restricting foetal body and head growth. Alterations in brain structure and function have been seen in children exposed to prenatal smoking.
Keywords: Diffusion tensor imaging; Foetal development; Nicotine; Tobacco; Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging.
©2014 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.