Navigation Links
Fetal Exposure to Methamphetamine May Harm Child's Brain
Date:4/15/2009

Scans show neurological differences in toddlers born to drug abusers

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- In what researchers are calling the first study of its kind, methamphetamine use among pregnant women has been found to prompt abnormal brain development among young children exposed to the drug in the womb.

Whether those changes translate into longer-term troubles remains to be seen, one expert said.

"If we accept the conclusion here that prenatal methamphetamine use does affect the young child's brain development, then the next step is to look at what the consequences could be in real terms," said Dr. James Garbutt, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Garbutt was not involved in the research, which was led by Dr. Linda Chang and Christine C. Cloak, both of the department of medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in Honolulu. They published the findings in the April online issue of Neurology.

According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, methamphetamine is an extremely addictive and easily abused stimulant that targets the central nervous system by prompting the release of large amounts of the brain chemical dopamine. The agency notes that, as of 2006, there were an estimated 731,000 American methamphetamine users over the age of 12.

Prior research has suggested that prenatal exposure to the drug appears to result in the development of poorer motor skills and higher stress levels among infants and young children, the Hawaiian researchers noted.

But to better explore the issue, the research team used high-tech "diffusion-tensor" magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) to scan the brains of 29 children between the ages of 3 and 4, all of who had been exposed to the drug in utero. Those images were then compared to scans taken of 37 similarly aged children with no such exposure.

By mapping out microscopic structural changes in the children's' brains, the researchers identified clear differences in both "white matter structure" and brain maturation between the exposed and unexposed children.

The study authors say the disparities may reflect abnormal developmental patterns among exposed versus unexposed offspring. Fetal methamphetamine exposure may result in more "compact" nerve fibers, as well as greater spine density, compared to unexposed children, they said.

But might this affect children long-term? According to Garbutt, more follow-up is necessary to gauge whether fetal methamphetamine exposure has a lasting detrimental impact as children age.

"The concept of methamphetamine use is of course is very bad in the public's mind and with good cause," he said. "The ravages of addiction are clear. You don't take care of yourself or your family, and the drug becomes the be-all and end-all of life. But that said, understanding what exactly exposure to the drug does to the fetus is still a scientific question that is not simple to answer and is very difficult to study."

"We have to explore, for example, whether or not there is a relationship between this finding and later emotional and cognitive behavior regulation problems," Garbutt said. "And does exposure then contribute to learning problems among children? If so, this would draw attention to yet another aspect of an addiction that is clearly already a serious health problem."

More information

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



SOURCE: James Garbutt, M.D., professor, psychiatry, department of psychiatry, and research scientist, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; April 2009 Archives of Neurology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. DRE Medical Equipment Adds Compact Fetal Monitors to Its Product Lineup
2. Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
3. Tumors Linked to Fetal Stem Cell Transplant
4. Moms Cells Prime Fetal Immune System
5. Maternal obesity can program fetal brain to induce adult-onset obesity
6. Alcohol in Early Pregnancy May Prompt Fetal Cell Death
7. 12th Annual Fetal Surgery Family Reunion Gathers Families From Across the U.S. and Canada
8. Fetal Gene May Contribute to Diabetes Risk
9. Fetal Exposure to Substance Abuse Changes Brain Structure
10. Fetal Cells Detected in Mothers Blood Years After Donor Egg Pregnancies
11. Autisms origins: Mothers antibody production may affect fetal brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fetal Exposure to Methamphetamine May Harm Child's Brain
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) aired ... of 2016. The program was made possible by a Pennsylvania Department of Health ... and Human Services Administration. The broadcast, Use Your Head: Properly Managing Sport ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Islandia, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... company, is pleased to announce that “Natural Language Processing–Enabled and Conventional Data Capture ... published in JMIR Medical Informatics . , Results of the comparative usability ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... ... David J. Dykeman , Ginger Pigott , and J. Rick ... West, Dec. 12, 2016, at the Fairmont Newport Beach in California. Greenberg Traurig is ... Sciences & Medical Technology Group have been featured speakers at every DeviceTalks conference since ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Center has been recognized for adherence to the highest standards of trauma, ... accreditation organizations, announced the center's president and CEO, Dr. Daniel Messina. , Among ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Vida Health, the digital health platform that pairs ... Canvas Ventures . Other investors include Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) and returning investor Aspect ... consumers who are managing chronic conditions or simply want to improve their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Australia Glaucoma ... GlobalData,s new report, "Australia Glaucoma Surgery Devices ... on the Australia Glaucoma Surgery Devices market. The ... volume (in units) and average prices (USD) within ... report also provides company shares and distribution shares ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... poised to grow in 2017-2023. Various reasons for growth ... obese population, higher incidences of chronic diseases, high recovery ... mobility aid services. Medical lifting sling refers to ... with limited mobility. These slings connect to the lift ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , Dec. 8, 2016  Eli Lilly ... detailed results of its phase 3 EXPEDITION3 trial at ... (CTAD) meeting. As previously disclosed, solanezumab did not meet ... study of solanezumab initiated in people with mild dementia ... pursue regulatory submissions for solanezumab for the treatment of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: