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NIDA Notes Articles: Pregnant Women

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Nicotine Alters the Developing Rat Brain

February 2007
Describes animal studies that suggested exposure to the drug during gestation or adolescence may cause lasting alterations in reward and motivation circuits.

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Vaccine May Reduce Fetal Exposure to Nicotine

April 2007
Describes research on a vaccine developed to facilitate smoking cessation by blocking nicotine penetration into the brain.

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Methamphetamine Restricts Fetal Growth, Increases Lethargy in Newborns

June 2008

Reports on research showing that newborns whose mothers abused methamphetamine during pregnancy showed lower rates of fetal growth as compared with unexposed newborns.

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Behavioral Problems Related to Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy Manifest Early in Childhood

June 2008

Describes research providing evidence that maternal smoking during pregnancy contributes to behavioral conduct disorders among toddlers, school-age children, and teens.

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Nicotine Dependence is Linked With Mental Disorders in Pregnant Women

December 2008

Reports on a link between mental disorders, including mood, anxiety, or personality disorder and nicotine dependence in pregnancy women.

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Reducing Postpartum Drug Use

December 2008

Highlights a computerized intervention that reduced new mothers' drug abuse in the first 4 months postpartum as reported in a clinical trial of 107 women who abused drugs.

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Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Damage Receptors That Influence Auditory Processing

April 2009

Reports on a series of animal experiments indicating that nicotine exposure during prenatal fetal development damages a set of receptors in the brain's auditory processing center.

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Vouchers Boost Smoking Abstinence During Pregnancy

April 2010
Describes a voucher-based reinforcement therapy trial with pregnant smokers to determine its effectiveness in enhancing abstinence rates.

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Gene Influences Impact of Maternal Smoking on Children's Behavioral Problems

July 2011
Describes research showing that the combination of prenatal smoking exposure and specific genes increases children’s and adolescent’s risk for behavior problems.

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Vouchers Improve Mothers’ Smoking Abstinence and Newborns’ Weight

April 2012

Pregnant women who received financial incentives to refrain from smoking during late pregnancy were more successful at remaining abstinent and less likely to have babies with low birth weight, according to data from three trials.

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