Navigation Links
Ecstasy Use During Pregnancy May Harm Fetus: Study

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Taking the hallucinogen ecstasy during pregnancy may harm the health of the fetus and lead to poorer motor control in infants, a new study suggests.

Researchers asked 96 British women about their substance-abuse history before and during pregnancy. The women were taking part in the University of East London Drugs and Infancy Study, which looks at recreational drug use among pregnant women. Most of the women reported taking a range of illegal drugs both before and during pregnancy.

Infant growth, motor control and brain development were assessed at birth and when babies were 4 months old.

Infants born to mothers who used ecstasy during pregnancy had worse motor control and poorer hand-eye coordination at 4 months than babies whose mothers didn't use the drug. Other problems among the ecstasy-exposed group included an impaired ability to balance their heads, sit up without support or roll from their back on to their side.

"The potential harmful effects of ecstasy exposure on prenatal and infant development have long been a concern," study author Lynn Singer, a professor of environmental health sciences, pediatrics and psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in Cleveland, said in a university news release.

"The drug's negative effects are particularly risky for pregnant women, who may use the drug without being aware of their condition," she added.

The study also found that ecstasy was associated with more male births, suggesting that the drug may impact "chemical signaling that determines a baby's gender."

The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, is published in the Feb. 28 issue of Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

The authors note that ecstasy (whose chemical name is "3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" or MDMA) is one of the most popular illegal drugs in the world.

Ecstasy can deplete a user's levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is a key regulator of mood, sleep and anxiety, according to the researchers. Serotonin is important during early fetal brain development, so altering levels of the neurotransmitter may have a long-term impact on babies, researchers said.

The study authors will continue to track infants through their first 18 months of life.

While the study found an association between ecstasy use and negative impacts on fetal and infant development, it did not prove causation.

More information

For more on ecstasy, visit the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCE: Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Feb. 27, 2012, news release.

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Ecstasy May Cause Long-Term Changes in Brain Chemistry
2. Ecstasy Use May Make Brain Less Efficient
3. Ecstasy associated with chronic change in brain function
4. Long-Term Ecstasy Users at Risk for Brain Damage, Study Warns
5. New study finds no cognitive impairment among ecstasy users
6. Does Club Drug Ecstasy Have Therapeutic Value?
7. Use of Marijuana, Ecstasy, Methamphetamine on Rise in U.S.
8. Researchers Use Ecstasy to Treat PTSD
9. Women decrease condom use during freshman year of college, study finds
10. Blood Test Detects Down Syndrome During Pregnancy
11. New Blood Thinner May Prevent Blood Clots During Cancer Treatment
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... edition of USA Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with ... digital component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy and across ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced ... User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics ... software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its ... exclusive list of CAAHEP accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and ... of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. ... 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... VA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... an American Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, ... of cruise, destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ) ... Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report to ... announced the addition of the "Self Administration ... offering. --> Research and Markets ( ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market ... User (Hospital, Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: