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Spinner - ADHD - attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - diethylstilbestrol - consequences of DES - diethylstilbestrol

Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Third Generation

Diethylstilbestrol (or DES – a commonly used abbreviation) is a well-known endocrine disruptor. In France, it has been marketed under the brand names Distilbène®, Stilboestrol-Borne® and Furostilboestrol®.

It was mainly prescribed to pregnant women between 1948 and 1977, where it was banned. Its main indications were the prevention of preterm births and spontaneous abortions, although its effectiveness has never been proven.

On the contrary, many studies have shown Its numerous detrimental effects. (please click here for more information on "Consequences of DES exposure")

"DES grandchildren", the children of men and women exposed in utero to the drug, also suffer the consequences.

As we mentioned in a previous article, some adverse abnormalities of the reproductive tract was seen in the third generation. The transgenerational effect of DES hab been clearly demonstrated.


Diethylstilbestrol and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

In this 2018 study1, researchers seek to assess the relationship between diethylstilbestrol (Distilbene) taken during pregnancy and the presence of neurodevelopmental disorders in descendants.

This study includes 47,540 women, 1.8% of whom are DES mothers (exposed to diethylstilbestrol while pregnant).

It reveals a high rate of Neurodevelopmental Disorder among grandchildren of women who used diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy, compared to grandchildren of women who did not use it, that is to say in the third generation.

As a result, DES grandchildren with ADHD have a lower quality of life, academic failures, and poor social functioning.

These consequences can be explained by epigenetic mechanisms; indeed, diethylstilbestrol may cause persistent gene expression changes.


What Is ADHD?

Attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity (ADHD), is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder.

ADD poses problems with sustained attention tasks and focus. Higher distractibility is also associated: sounds, light, touches, smells, even thoughts, can disturb the person with ADD at any time.

So, participating in class activities, doing homework, reading a book are hard tasks.

ADHD considerably disrupt family and social relational functioning of the child, or of the adult, who suffers from it.

These problems can be associated with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD may also be fidgety, restless, cannot sit still, and may have symptoms related to impulsivity such as nervousness, unpredictable actions or words, difficulty accepting frustrations...


If you think you, or your child, may have some symptoms that seem like ADHD, resulting from an exposure to DES, let your doctor know and please join our private forums dedicated to victims of DES.

In order to corroborate the data result of the current study, please take part in our anonymous polls.


1 Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, ScD, Brent A. Coull, PhD, Éilis J. O’Reilly, ScD, Alberto Ascherio, MD, DrPH, and Marc G. Weisskopf, PhD, ScD - Association of Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol During Pregnancy With Multigenerational Neurodevelopmental Deficits - JAMA Pediatr. 2018 Jul; 172(7): 670–677.

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