Drinking alcohol while pregnant has been a heated issue for some time now, but many are still not convinced about the effects it may have on unborn children. A new study testing lab rats has provided new information about how not just one generation, but up to three might suffer from consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.
The study — which tested if drinking while pregnant was correlated to a heightened risk of children developing alcoholism – was led by Nicole Cameron, assistant professor of psychology at Binghamton University.
"Our findings show that in the rat, when a mother consumes the equivalent of one glass of wine four times during the pregnancy, her offspring and grand-offspring, up to the third generation, show increased alcohol preference and less sensitivity to alcohol," Cameron reported. "Thus, the offspring are more likely to develop alcoholism."
Previous studies have shown that prenatal exposure to alcohol is a leading and preventable cause of birth defects and disabilities in first-generation children, but none so far have extended these effects to later generations.