TO HELP better understand the impact of maternal smoking on fetal and offspring development, the National Institutes of Drug Abuse recently awarded a $2.9 million grant to Dr. Laura Stroud, a researcher with The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.
PROVIDENCE – About one in five expectant women in the United States smoke during their pregnancies despite increased rates of behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, irritability, drug dependence and attention-deficit disorder in their children.
To help better understand the impact of maternal smoking on fetal and offspring development, the National Institutes of Drug Abuse recently awarded a $2.9 million grant to Dr. Laura Stroud, a researcher with The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.
“Given continued high exposure rates and links to costly offspring outcomes, new and innovative approaches are needed to identify and protect high-risk children and help pregnant smokers,” Stroud said in a statement.
Her previous research has linked maternal smoking with hyper-arousal in infants and deficits in their attention and self- regulation. Now, with $2,885,481 in NIH funding spread over five years, she will use ultrasound technology to identify risk markers in pregnant women in real time. The goals of her research include improving clinical care for pregnant smokers, developing new intervention methods to help them quit and find new ways to protect exposed fetuses.
“Although there have been pervasive sanctions against smoking during pregnancy, 13 to 20 percent of infants are born exposed,” noted Stroud, an associate professor of Psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.
The Miriam Hospital, a member of the Lifespan health system, announced Stroud’s award in a press release on Oct. 29. In addition to the NIH funding, Stroud’s research receives financial and infrastructure support from the Lifespan Office of Research Administration. Her collaborators on the project include Dr. Margaret Bublitz, from The Miriam Hospital; Dr. Amy Salisbury, and Dr. Stephen Carr, from Women and Infants’ Hospital; Dr. George Papandonatos, PhD from Brown University; and Dr. Edward Chien, from Metro Health Case Western Reserve University.