Teratological investigations have demonstrated that agents that are relatively harmless to the mother may have significant negative consequences to the fetus. Among these agents, prenatal alcohol, nicotine or cannabis exposure have been related to adverse offspring outcomes. Although there is a relatively extensive body of literature that has focused upon birth and behavioral outcomes in newborns and infants after prenatal exposure to maternal smoking, drinking and, to a lesser extent, cannabis use, information on neurobehavioral and cognitive teratogenic findings beyond these early ages is still quite limited. Furthermore, most studies have focused on prenatal exposure to heavy levels of smoking, drinking or cannabis use. Few recent studies have paid attention to low or moderate levels of exposure to these substances. This review endeavors to provide an overview of such studies, and includes animal findings and potential mechanisms that may explain the mostly subtle effects found on neurobehavioral and cognitive outcomes. It is concluded that prenatal exposure to either maternal smoking, alcohol or cannabis use is related to some common neurobehavioral and cognitive outcomes, including symptoms of ADHD (inattention, impulsivity), increased externalizing behavior, decreased general cognitive functioning, and deficits in learning and memory tasks.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2005.04.005, hdl.handle.net/1765/69118
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Pediatric Psychiatry

Huizink, A., & Mulder, E. J. H. (2006). Maternal smoking, drinking or cannabis use during pregnancy and neurobehavioral and cognitive functioning in human offspring. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (Vol. 30, pp. 24–41). doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2005.04.005