A surprising finding reported in Nature, that even low doses of caffeine taken by pregnant mothers seem to have a developmental effect on their kids, at least in rats:
To see how the cellular changes were affecting behaviour, the Michigan team took baby rats whose mothers had been caffeined-up and ran them through a series of behavioural tests. Nunez says that the animals showed no cognitive defects, but were more active and less inhibited than those whose mothers had not received caffeine.
The rats were more willing to explore new environments, for example. When placed in a small dark space with an opening into a larger lit area, it took control animals around 4 minutes on average to emerge. But the caffeine rats left after an average of just 25 seconds.
Other tests showed similar, if less pronounced, changes. The rats were more likely to explore exposed environments, and spent more time interacting with other animals.
"You have an animal that doesn't know when to stop," says Nunez.
Anyone thinking ADHD in human kids?