Fathers who use cocaine at the time of conceiving a child may be putting their sons at risk of learning disabilities and memory loss.
The findings of the animal study were published online in Molecular Psychiatry by a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The researchers say the findings reveal that drug abuse by fathers - separate from the well-established effects of cocaine use in mothers - may negatively impact cognitive development in their male offspring.
An article in Medical News Today noted that the research showed that cocaine use in dads caused epigenetic changes in the brain of their sons, thereby changing the expression of genes important for memory formation. D-serine, a molecule essential for memory, was depleted in male rats whose father took cocaine and replenishing the levels of D-serine in the sons' hippocampus improved learning in these animals.
Dear Friend of NCADD ... It takes courage, determination and strength to avoid alcohol and drugs or to seek help and overcome addiction. We want to do everything in our power to provide the tools and support to help those on this journey. Without question, this is the most important journey of their lives and your support makes a huge difference in its outcome! On behalf of all those on the journey to recovery, and of all those waiting to start that journey, we thank you. Donate Now