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

 

Post-Post: Brian Roche To Step Down As NZ Post CEO

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news