No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe during Pregnancy
A new study suggests that no amount of alcohol is safe for consumption during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can damage the developing fetus leading to birth defects, intellectual and neuro-developmental disabilities. One of the top causes for intellectual disability worldwide caused by prenatal alcohol exposure is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
The researchers of the study used a brain imaging technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG) to analyze brain signals. According to the results, teenagers exposed to alcohol while they were developing in the womb exhibited altered brain connections consistent with impaired cognitive performance.
The study analysed the areas of the brain that were active in 19 FASD patients and 21 individuals without FASD when they were in the MEG machine. The analysis revealed the areas of brain that showed impaired connectivity among FASD patients.
The results show there are deficits in the brain due to alcohol exposure in the womb. A main finding is connection issues in the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right halves of the brain. Deficits in this area have been identified in people with depression, autism, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and abnormalities in sensation.
Our study involving experimental data collected from teenage subjects, combined with mathematical modeling, shows that there is no safe amount or safe stages during pregnancy for alcohol consumption,” wrote the researchers of the study, as per Tech Times.