Methamphetamine use in pregnancy changes learning ability of the offspring

Apr 09, 2008

Studies have suggested that infants exposed to methamphetamines while in the womb can suffer irreversible brain damage, although the exact effects of these drugs during pregnancy have been hard to pinpoint due to many other negative behaviors that often occur in meth users.

Now, using a guinea pig model that can assess neural changes in offspring born to mothers given methamphetamine during an otherwise normal pregnancy, Dr. Sanika Samuel Chirwa provides new evidence for the cognitive damage of these drugs.

In preliminary studies, Chirwa and colleagues found that guinea pig pups born to mothers that had received 1 mg/day of methamphetamine during pregnancy exhibit an impaired ability to distinguish novel objects from items they had seen before. This lack of recognition correlated with changes in the brain region, the hippocampus, associated with memory formation.

Source: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Explore further: AbbVie shares sink after $21 bn deal for Pharmacyclics

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Prenatal meth exposure linked to abnormal brain development

Apr 15, 2009

A first of its kind study examining the effects of methamphetamine use during pregnancy has found the drug appears to cause abnormal brain development in children. The research is published in the April 15, 2009, online issue ...

Recommended for you

US must respond to global health outbreaks, say bioethicists

Mar 05, 2015

Last summer, West Africa fell into the grip of a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has thus far taken the lives of more than 9,500 people. The fear swept up by the epidemic quickly jumped across the Atlantic and landed in the ...

Uganda on defensive over medical 'brain drain' uproar

Mar 03, 2015

Uganda's government on Tuesday hit back at mounting criticism of plans to 'export' over 200 health workers to the Caribbean, insisting it was only seeking to regulate an existing labour market and prevent abuses.

Seth Mnookin on vaccination and public health

Mar 02, 2015

Seth Mnookin, an assistant professor of science writing and associate director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing, is the author of "The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy" ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.