Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Ecstasy and Alcohol Cause Serious Problems During Pregnancy


UC Study Provides First Evidence Ecstasy and Alcohol Cause Serious Problems During Pregnancy

May 21, 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) psychology researcher has identified the first direct evidence that combined use of ecstasy and alcohol during pregnancy causes brain damage.

The UC study indicated simultaneous use of alcohol and ecstasy during pregnancy may cause brain abnormalities that are more severe than those observed when either drug is taken alone.

``The use of drugs during pregnancy poses serious health risks for pregnant women and their babies, who may be born premature, exhibit birth defects and develop behavioural and learning disabilities,’’ Dr Juan Canales says.

``In New Zealand about 21 percent of the population aged 15 to 45 years old have tried party pills and eight percent have used ecstasy. Its use has increased significantly among young adults, many of whom concurrently use other substances such as cannabis, cigarettes and alcohol.

``The use of ecstasy has been reported among pregnant women, who typically show a significantly higher use of alcohol and binge drinking during pregnancy compared to women not exposed to the drug.

``The simultaneous use of ecstasy and other drugs, especially alcohol, is a cause of concern due to the potential exacerbation of psychiatric and cognitive impacts. These risks are particularly elevated in pregnant women due to the high potential for harmful effects of multi-drug exposure to the fetus.

``To understand the consequences of abusing ecstasy and alcohol during the pregnancy we used an animal model of binge drug taking with moderate doses of alcohol and ecstasy that can be translated realistically to human dosing.

``We studied the brains and behaviour of female rats that were exposed to the drugs while in the womb. At three months of age the females exposed prenatally to ecstasy and alcohol showed decreased exploratory activity, impaired memory function and decreased production of new neurons in a part of the brain that is important for learning and memory.

``These effects were minimal in subjects exposed to only one of the drugs, suggesting that the mixing of drugs can have very negative consequences,’’ Dr Canales says.

A New Zealand alcohol and drug use survey recently found one in four women had consumed alcohol while pregnant. This represented 73,000 women who had drunk alcohol while pregnant from an estimated 254,200 women who had been pregnant over a three year period.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news