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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

UCLA Study: Babies Exposed to Methamphetamine and Alcohol

UCLA Study Babies Methamphetamine Alcohol

Every year countless babies are born with defects or disorders as a result of the mothers actions during pregnancy. The substances a mother consumes, just like the food she eats, eventually finds its way to the fetus greatly increasing the chances of the baby having health problems. Extensive research has been done in the way of studies and experiments that prove that the effects of drugs and alcohol are monumental.

HealthDay News reported that a study done by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that babies exposed to methamphetamine and alcohol before birth have smaller caudate nucleus regions in the brain than non-exposed children or children exposed to alcohol only in the womb. What are caudate nucleus regions?

The caudate nucleus helps with:

  • learning
  • memory
  • motor control
  • motivation

Researchers who worked on the study compared and contrasted brain scans of 13 children exposed to alcohol in the womb, 21 children exposed to both methamphetamine and alcohol, and 27 children whose mothers did not use anything. "We know that alcohol exposure is toxic to the developing fetus and can result in lifelong brain, cognitive and behavioral problems," said researcher Elizabeth Sowell of the University of California at Los Angeles. "In this study, we show that the effects of prenatal meth exposure, or the combination of meth and alcohol exposure, may actually be worse. Our findings stress the importance of drug abuse treatment for pregnant women."

This information is not all that surprising, if alcohol is bad for a baby, then alcohol and meth would be terrible. Drugs and alcohol rob a child of their chances for success, babies need pollutant free environments to develop in; otherwise Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and, or, a sleuth of other health problems will result. There are many drug and alcohol treatment facilities that specialize in the recovery of pregnant addicts; any pregnant women that wants assistance getting clean, have the opportunity to give their baby a chance at life.

The findings were published March 17, 2010 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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