Navigation Links
Ultrasounds show mothers' drinking shrinks fetal brain

Routine ultrasounds show that heavy drinkers who continue to imbibe after learning they are pregnant may carry fetuses with reduced skull and brain growth compared to those of abstainers or quitters, says a new study.

Although the alcohol-exposed babies' growth remained within normal range, the findings reveal effects of drinking on the developing human brain. The study will appear in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

"What this tells us is that the earlier you abstain in a pregnancy, the better the outcome," said lead author Nancy Handmaker, a University of New Mexico clinical psychologist with expertise in maternal-fetal health.

Alcohol use during pregnancy is a leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- which includes a range of cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems -- may be present in as many as one of every 100 births.

The study authors obtained routine ultrasound data from 167 pregnant women who had reported a history of hazardous drinking before pregnancy. Of these, 97 were classified as heavy drinkers. The study compared the fetal growth measures among drinkers who quit after learning of their impending motherhood to those among women who continued to drink.

Within the heavy drinking group, the ultrasounds revealed that fetuses of the continuing drinkers had a smaller ratio of head-to-abdominal circumference, which indicates reduced skull growth. They also had smaller measures of the cerebellum, a region of the brain involved in many mental, motor and sensory tasks.

Fetal growth measures were essentially the same among nondrinkers and those who quit when they learned of their pregnancy. "There may have been measures that were not part of routine ultrasound examinations that would have been more sensitive to the pr e-recognition drinking," said Handmaker.

The authors say that while women's own reports of their drinking habits may not be entirely accurate, the study findings are consistent with other research on fetal alcohol exposure in animals and humans.

"The provision of feedback on fetal development as revealed in ultrasonography may be a strategy to encourage heavy drinkers to seek treatment during pregnancy," concludes the study.

CDC would like to see intervention efforts start even earlier. "The best opportunity to identify and intervene with women at high-risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy is prior to pregnancy," says Louise Floyd of the Fetal Alcohol Prevention Team. "What we are hoping to see is a major shift in looking at a healthy pregnancy as something that we start to support in the preconception period."


'"/>

Source:Center for the Advancement of Health


Related biology news :

1. Major new UNC-based drinking water study suggests pregnancy fears may be overstated
2. Brains can recover from alcoholic damage but patients should stop drinking as soon as possible
3. New UD technology removes viruses from drinking water
4. Hexavalent chromium in drinking water causes cancer in lab animals
5. Overfishing large sharks impacts entire marine ecosystem, shrinks shellfish supply
6. Reactivated gene shrinks tumors
7. Technology for monitoring fetal oxygen during labor offers no apparent benefit
8. First-degree fetal heart block may be reversible
9. A puzzle piece found in unraveling the wiring of the brain
10. Mapping neuron connections in the brain
11. New insights into how Huntingtons disease attacks the brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the launch ... dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website ... deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, ... suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer will ... resources created and shared by the Allen Institute for ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... CHICAGO , March 29, 2017  higi, the ... ecosystem in North America , today ... Partners and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment ... extensive set of tools to transform population health activities ... and lifestyle data. higi collects and secures ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... MD (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... the formation of a unique intellectual property (IP) sharing and commercialization model. , ... most promising inventions. A main component of this effort is bringing the IP ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... YORK , April 20, 2017 ... that focuses on novel drug development and clinical research aimed ... are: Biostage Inc. (NASDAQ: BSTG), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: KERX), ... ZIOP ). You can access our complimentary research ... ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , ... April 18, 2017 , ... Alisa Wright, founder ... Alumni Awards from the Purdue College of Pharmacy in Lafayette, Indiana. , The ... Program for achievements in their careers and other scientific endeavors. , Wright began ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 19, 2017 , ... ... $1.5M Series A-1 financing round. This event adds to several other early achievements ... its’ Executive and Scientific Teams. , ThermaGenix will use proceeds from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: