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:3/22/2016)... March 22, 2016 ... Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, ... Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... to reach USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... -- --> --> According ... "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... digital door lock systems market in terms of revenue was ... to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% during the period ... (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial activity driving inclusive ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... PUNE, India , March 11, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Image Recognition Market ... by Application (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises ... Global Forecast To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... in 2015 to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s orphan drug designation request covering ... orphan drug designation granted by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ataxia is a ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, Callan ... corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science event at ... Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... PrecisionAg® Media has released its latest ... The paper outlines the key trends that are creating both opportunities and challenges ... lot of highs and lows as the precision agriculture market has grown and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... and LONDON , May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... See Frontage Boost Efficiency by 40% - Frontage Implement ... - Frontage Enforce Quality, Compliance and Traceability Within the Bioanalytical lab ... labs in the United States and ... to be deployed across its laboratory facilities. In addition to serving ...
Breaking Biology Technology: