Jansone K, Eichler A, Fasching PA, Kornhuber J, Kaiser A, Millenet S, Banaschewski T, Nees F, on behalf of the IMAC-Mind Consortium. Association of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy with Neurophysiological and ADHD-Related Outcomes in School-Aged Children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2023; 20(6):4716. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20064716
Data of a longitudinal cohort study were analyzed to investigate the association between prenatal tobacco exposure and electroencephalographical (EEG) power spectrum in healthy, school-aged children as well as its relationship with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related symptoms. Group comparisons (exposed, non-exposed) were performed to test whether prenatal tobacco exposure was associated with brain activity and ADHD symptoms, with adjustments made for covariates including child’s sex, child’s age, maternal age, maternal smoking habit before pregnancy, alcohol consumption during pregnancy, gestation age, and maternal psychopathology. Tobacco-exposed children showed higher brain activity in the delta and theta frequency bands. This effect was independent of the considered covariates. However, the effects on hyperactivity were found to significantly depend on maternal age and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, but not on the amount of exposure. In summary, smoking during pregnancy significantly affected the resting-state brain activity in children, independent of socio-demographic factors, indicating potential long-lasting effects on brain development. Its impact on ADHD-related behavior was shown to be influenced by socio-demographic confounding factors, such as maternal alcohol consumption and the age of the mother.