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Binge drinking before pregnancy may impact future offspring

Washington D.C. [USA] June 20 : Binge drinking during adolescence can have long-lasting effects in the brain which may directly impact the first-generation offspring, a recent study has found.

A rat model found that this preconception binge drinking may have negative consequences on the offspring's growth, social interactions, and pubertal development.

The study's senior author, Toni Pak, Ph.D., of Loyola University Chicago in Maywood said, "Our animal study demonstrates that drinking large quantities of alcohol in a 'binge' fashion before pregnancy can impact future offspring."

He added, "Importantly, this is true for drinking behaviors of both parents, not just the mother."
The researchers found that a rat model of binge-pattern drinking during puberty had several consequences for the animals' offspring, including smaller body weight, fewer play behaviors, and decreased circulating testosterone.

The parents, in addition, did not pass down to the offspring any adaptive traits that allowed them to tolerate alcohol better.

"By better understanding which parental preconception behaviors impact future generations, we can do more to prevent their perpetuation," said Pak.

The study appears in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

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