[This rehashes a previous blog entry from 2014.]
By Jill Escher
How pervasive was pregnancy drug use in the 1960s? We can look at two cohorts, the CHDS (Child Health and Development Studies) and the CPP, or Collaborative Perinatal Project to get a sense of this vast history. The top chart shows CHDS drug use throughout pregnancy, and the bottom two refer to drug CHDS and CPP drug use in roughly the first half of pregnancy.
Use of anti-nausea drugs, sedatives, hormones, painkillers and amphetamines were all common. Which of these abnormal exposures entered the womb and fetal tissue? All of them. Which of these affected fetal development? Most of them, though sometimes very subtly. Which of them affected fetal germline? Well, we hope to find out.
Jill Escher, Escher Fund for Autism, is a California-based science philanthropist and mother of two children with severe autism, focused on the question of how environmentally induced germline disruptions may be contributing to today's epidemics of neurodevelopmental impairment. You can read about her discovery of her intensive prenatal exposure to synthetic hormone drugs here. Jill is also president of Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area.