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Review

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Third Pathophysiology of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure

Lester B.M. · Padbury J.F.

Author affiliations

Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown university, Women and Infants’ Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, R.I., USA

Corresponding Author

Barry M. Lester, PhD

Women and Infants’ Hospital of Rhode Island

101 Dudley Street

Providence, RI 02905 (USA)

Tel. +1 401 453 7640, Fax +1 401 453 7646, E-Mail Barry_Lester@Brown.edu

Related Articles for ""

Dev Neurosci 2009;31:23–35

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Abstract

The pathophysiology of the effects of cocaine on fetal development has been described along 2 major pathways: neurochemical effects and vasoconstrictive effects. Following a summary of these effects, we suggest a ‘third pathophysiology’ in which altered fetal programming affects the acute and long-term adverse effects of in utero cocaine exposure. We describe how cocaine as a stressor alters the expression of key candidate genes, increasing exposure to catecholamines and fetal cortisol-altering neuroendocrine (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) activity, leading to infant behavioral dysregulation, poor behavioral control and emotion regulation during childhood and phenotypes that confer vulnerability to substance use in adolescence. This model is discussed in relation to follow-up studies of the effects of in utero cocaine exposure and maturational changes in brain development.

© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Review

Received: March 24, 2008
Accepted: October 20, 2008
Published online: April 17, 2009
Issue release date: April 2009

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0378-5866 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9859 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/DNE


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