Intrauterine and Postnatal Exposure to Tobacco and Wood Smoke on Hypothalamic Development and Cognition: An Integrative Review of the Literature

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Ana Maripangui & Paulo Salinas


Exposure to air pollution and its pollutants has been associated with important effects on human health since the first years of life, thus it has been seen that exposure to tobacco smoke and wood smoke is directly related to cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, respiratory and cancers. However, exposure to air pollution during fetal development and its effects on brain structure and function during early childhood and adolescence have been little studied. In this review we have analyzed the literature on prenatal exposure to tobacco and wood smoke and its relationship with hypothalamic development and cognition in the first years of life.The molecular, morphological and physiological aspects of the relationship between pre- and postnatal exposure to tobacco and wood smoke with neural developmental, cognitive and behavioral problems during early childhood and adolescence have not yet been fully clarified. The information available in the scientific literature based on antecedents obtained from epidemiological studies has been negatively affected by confounding variables and great methodological challenges that make it impossible to affirm an exact causal relationship with certainty.

KEY WORDS: Tobacco smoke; Wood smoke; Air pollution; Hypothalamic development; Cognition.

How to cite this article

MARIPANGUI, A. & SALINAS, P. Intrauterine and postnatal exposure to tobacco and wood smoke on hypothalamic development and cognition: an integrative review of the literature. Int. J. Morphol., 39(3):773-779, 2021.