Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Smoking during Pregnancy Seems to Increase Schizophrenia risk by 38% in kids



Just lately there has been a surge of ‘during pregnancy’ alarms. I’m scared that these are going to be used to ‘blame the mother’ again. Freudians will be popping up all over the place. But fathers also damage DNA in their sperm when they smoke, drink, do drugs, catch viruses, etc and the DNA damage to sperm is more direct and immediate (because of their rapid 'turnover’:thinking:).
We females are born with all our eggs ready and waiting so if there is damage to our ova (and therefore, our children), scientists need to look at what our mothers were doing when they were pregnant/conceiving, not us. Serious DNA damage to the ova is done two generations earlier, not one.


No - I dont’ agree. I’ve followed this research for 20 years and the research has always been showing that the younger you are the more the brain can be changed by external factors - from nutrition, to stress, to toxins. That trend has continued.

And - I don’t think this is a “blame the mother” type of research - nobody can be blamed for doing something that nobody new was bad or harmful at the time. In fact the cigarette companies have actively tried to fund research that confuses the harmful effects of their product - and its very hard for us as consumers to fight against the $ Billions that these companies have - so definitely not a “mother” issue in the past and not someone anyone should be blamed for.

Now - that this information is coming out - it gives us all a chance to avoid and lower risk in the future. Thats a good thing.

And yes - you are right - the process by which eggs and sperm can be harmed and increase the risk of schizophrenia is increasingly being shown to be something that can happen generations before - so that type of thing is obviously out of our control (though the degree to which we can control things now - like avoiding smoking - can obviously help our families down the generations).

I view all this information as positive because it gives us more control going forward. We can only look forward. The past we can’t change. But we can change things now and in the future. Stay positive, focus on making things better in the future.

Read up on the Causes of Schizophrenia:

and Read up on the Prevention Steps you can take to avoid Schizophrenia in the future generations:

More on this topic here:


I’ve never seen much evidence for this. Yes - I know that there is some evidence that some types of epigenetic factors (like near-starvation) can have an impact on obesity rates two generations later - but I’ve never seen any information that suggests that DNA damage to ova is done generations earlier. There is a pretty clear relationship between age and DNA damage in both ova and sperm - so its an issue for men and women. Here are some graphs to show the link:

example - down syndrome from chromosomal DNA damage:

and others:

age of father and rates of schizophrenia, autism, etc in children:



I am just pointing out that, for example, the ovum that was fertilized and became me was actually constructed by my grandmother’s body when my mother was conceived. I have seen reference to this, but it is so obvious we just forget it. I don’t deny that the quality of ova, sperm, etc declines as we age. But I also read once that one’s fertility is not calculated by biologists by how many children one has but by how many grandchildren.
So, of course, pre-conceptual health care should be emphasized because we can’t travel back in time and sort out our grandparents. The least we can do is control ourselves. It does cast new light on all those ‘old-fashioned’ strictures about women not drinking and smoking (and even not working while pregnant may help to reduce viral infections etc).