" ... when we looked at the effect of maternal smoking in children with one of our candidate genes, we saw a three-fold increase in risk, and in children with both genes whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, we saw a nine-fold increase," says senior investigator Richard D. Todd, M.D., Ph.D., the Blanche F. Ittleson Professor and director of the Division of Child Psychiatry at Washington University.If that's the case, and irrespective of the apparent genetic link, Mrs Rigby and her siblings and cousins were lucky to escape.
Both Senior Rigbys smoked cigarettes and almost every visitor to the family home lit up while they had their cups of tea. At that time cafés, cinemas, pubs, buses, trains and railway stations were packed full of smokers, as were work canteens and even the workplace. It was normal, smokers were not outcasts.
Mrs Rigby is sure that, even had her mother not been a smoker, the developing Rigbys would have been exposed to so much so-called second and third-hand smoke via her bloodstream as to make foetal absorption impossible to avoid.
Mrs Rigby doesn't recall her education being compromised by those of her peer group who were incapable of sitting still for more than five minutes at a time. So she does wonder why, with all the health protection practices in place that ensures an expectant mother can avoid the slightest whiff of tobacco smoke, ADHD appears to be on the increase, with
Soaring numbers of children are receiving drugs to treat hyperactivity and depressionMaybe, just maybe, something other than tobacco is the cause.