Navigation Links
One hit of crystal meth causes birth defects

A single prenatal dose of methamphetamine ?commonly known as speed ?may be enough to cause long-term neurodevelopmental problems in babies, say University of Toronto researchers.

In research published in the August issue of Free Radical Biology and Medicine, U of T pharmacy and pharmacology professor Peter Wells and his colleagues determined that exposing pregnant mice only once to methamphetamine led to delivery of offspring with long-term neurodevelopmental problems, including reduced motor co-ordination. Methamphetamine is a potent and addictive stimulant.

"We've known for a while that meth abuse during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, cleft palates and other malformations but this is the first research demonstrating that even a single exposure can cause long-term damage," says Wells. "It's pretty remarkable that a single low dose can have such an effect.

"It's an important finding, given the increasing use of club drugs among women of childbearing age. It has clinical implications, because it shows that the fetus is exquisitely sensitive."

The developing fetus appears to be vulnerable to DNA damage from methamphetamine exposure because it hasn't yet developed the enzymes that protect it against free radicals ?highly activated, destructive oxygen molecules that have been implicated in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, says Wells. This vulnerability lasts from the embryonic stage through the later fetal period, times when organ structures and mental functions develop.

"People usually think the last trimester of pregnancy is when developing brain function is most susceptible to damage, but in this case the brain is also affected by methamphetamine even in the earlier embryonic period," says Wells.

Wells' next step will be to study women and their babies who have been exposed to drugs like methamphetamine that enhance free radical formation to see if the human damage is consistent with his mouse findi ngs. He will also try to determine whether the methamphetamine causes other lasting damage in mice, such as impacts on learning and memory.

"Methamphetamine has very different toxic effects in the fetal brain than in adult mice, which surprised me," says Wells. "In adults, you can see actual structural degeneration of the brain."

U of T doctoral candidates Winnie Jeng and Andrea Wong and undergraduate Ryan Ting-A-Kee were also involved in this study. The research was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The doctoral candidates received awards from the CIHR/Rx&D Health Research Foundation, the American Society of Toxicology and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


'"/>

Source:University of Toronto


Related biology news :

1. Scientists make first step towards holy grail of crystallography
2. Liquid crystals show promise in controlling embryonic stem cells
3. Ancient fossil DNA found preserved in crystal
4. Enzyme crystal structure reveals unexpected genome repair functions
5. Hair samples show babies can be exposed to crystal meth while in the womb
6. Cellulose nanocrystal research could lead to new vaccines, computer inks
7. BRCA1 causes ovarian cancer through indirect, biochemical route
8. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
9. NASA study finds snow melt causes large ocean plant blooms
10. Alarm pheromone causes aphids to sprout wings
11. University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016  A new partnership announced today ... underwriting decisions in a fraction of the time ... and high-value life insurance policies to consumers without ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and ... (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the ... has already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s ... for BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of ... In addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 27, 2016 NanoStruck Technologies ... NSKQB) ( Frankfurt : 8NSK) gibt ... vom 13. August 2015 die Genehmigung von der ... zusätzliche 200.000.000 Einheiten auf 400.000.000 Einheiten zu erhöhen, ... Davon wurden 157.900.000 Einheiten mit dem ersten Teil ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... pleased to announce the appointment of John Tilton as Chief Commercial Officer.  Mr. ... and one of the founding commercial leaders responsible for the commercialization of multiple ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors in expanding the ... , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the detection of harmful ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group ... Board. Ross is the founder of GSCG affiliate Kimera Labs in Miami. , In ... studied hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic disorders and the suppression of graft vs. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: