Prenatal Exposure to Drugs: Effect on the Development of Brain Monoamine Systems

  • Velayudhan Nair
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 8)


Numerous clinical and experimental studies of recent years (Millen and Woollam, 1963; Brill and Forgotson, 1964; Medearis, 1964; Peckham and King, 1963; Nora et al., 1967; Bleyer et al., 1970) have indicated that exposure to a wide variety of agents (radiation, drugs, viruses, etc.) during specific stages of pregnancy can result in various morphologic and behavioral anomalies in the offspring. Much of the previous work in this area has been concerned with teratologic effects. Equally important and yet, relatively less understood are the subtler molecular effects. Unlike the gross abnormalities and malformations, these are not readily evident and may be revealed only by specific tests or when challenged by environmental stresses. The molecular or biochemical lesion may remain dormant and manifest itself later in life as a functional impairment, behavioral disorder or abnormal reaction to drugs. Presently, we have little information about these events and there are few systematic studies directed towards the sequelae. In a sense, these are more insidious than the teratologic effects because the latter are evident early enough for appropriate corrective measures to be taken.


Prenatal Exposure Storage Mechanism Developmental Aspect Plasma Drug Level 5HIAA Level 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Velayudhan Nair
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, The Chicago Medical SchoolUniversity of Health SciencesChicagoUSA

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