Mother’s Cocaine Addiction Damages Child’s Brain Development

Steven E. Hyman, a leading researcher and Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard University has emphasied the ill effect of a mother’s cocaine addiction to the developemnt of a child’s brain.

According to Hyman, most women do not stop their consumption of cocaine even through pregnancy. Often, these women use other drugs as well, and their children tend to be malnourished and "inadequately" parented.

Children exposed to cocaine prenatally appear to have neurological and cognitive deficits, too. At six months of age children exposed to cocaine in the uterus are often observed to have abnormalities in tone and posture. According to one study, children exposed to cocaine show significant cognitive deficits and a higher rate of developmental delay during the first two years of life. Another study of children exposed to cocaine and other drugs revealed high deficits in sustained attention and problems with impulsivity at age four.