A recent research has revealed that men who use cocaine at the time of conceiving a child may increase the risk of their sons developing learning disabilities and memory loss.
A study proves that fathers who regularly abuse drugs might have a negative effect on the cognitive development and learning in their male wards.
“The results suggest that the sons of male cocaine addicts may be at risk for learning deficits,” said R. Christopher Pierce, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
According to a paper published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, sons of male rats that were made to consume cocaine for an extended period of time could not remember the location of items in their surroundings and had impaired synaptic plasticity in hippocampus — a brain region responsible for learning and spatial navigation in humans and rodents. D-serine, a molecular necessity for memory was also ruined in the male rats whose fathers took cocaine. Cocaine usage also changed the epigenetic segments of the brain which in turn changes the expression of genes important for memory formation.
The research also added that the overuse of cocaine in fathers also broadly stimulated the chemical marks on histones — proteins — in the brain of their sons, despite their offsprings not consuming cocaine.