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

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news