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Posts Tagged pregnancy health

Babies Born to Addicted Mothers a “Troubling Epidemic”: Maine Governor

Posted by on Monday, 10 February, 2014

Maine Governor Paul R. LePage this week said the births of 927 babies born to mothers addicted to drugs last year in the state is a “troubling epidemic.” The babies represented more than 7 percent of all births in the state, The New York Times reports.

In his State of the State address, Governor LePage said the babies create “a lifelong challenge for our health care system, schools and social services.” He added, “It is unacceptable to me that a baby should be born affected by drugs.” He urged legislators to add four special drug prosecutors and four judges to sit in enhanced courts, and to add 14 agents to the state’s Drug Enforcement Agency. He did not mention a role for treatment, the article notes.

“We must hunt down dealers and get them off the streets,” Mr. LePage said. “We must protect our citizens from drug-related crimes and violence. We must save our babies from lifelong suffering.”

Full story of born from addicted mothers at drugfree.org


Breastfeeding Possible Deterrent to Autism

Posted by on Friday, 8 November, 2013

In an article appearing in Medical Hypotheses on September 20, a New York-based physician-researcher from the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine has called for the testing of umbilical cord blood for levels of a growth protein that could help predict an infant’s propensity to later develop autism.

Based on an analysis of findings in prior published studies, Touro researcher Gary Steinman, MD, PhD, proposes that depressed levels of a protein called insulin-like growth factor (IGF) could potentially serve as a biomarker that could anticipate autism occurrence.

His research points to numerous prior studies that powerfully link IGF with a number of growth and neural functions. Dr. Steinman — who has also conducted extensive research into fertility and twinning — further points to breastfeeding as a relatively abundant source of the protein. He says that IGF delivered via breastfeeding would compensate for any inborn deficiency of the growth factor in newborns.

If the IGF-autism hypothesis is validated by further study, Dr. Steinman says, an increase in the duration of breastfeeding could come to be associated with a decreased incidence of autism.

Full story of breastfeeding and autism at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education


Bipolar and Pregnant

Posted by on Tuesday, 5 November, 2013

New Northwestern Medicine® research offers one of the first in-depth studies of how physiological changes during pregnancy reduce the effects of a commonly used drug to treat bipolar disorder, making women more vulnerable to recurring episodes. The new findings will help psychiatrists and physicians prevent bipolar manic and depressive symptoms during pregnancy, which are risky for the health of the mother and her unborn child.

When a woman with bipolar disorder becomes pregnant, she and her physician often don’t realize her medication needs adjusting to prevent the symptoms from coming back — a higher risk during pregnancy. There also is little information and research to guide dosing for psychiatric medications during pregnancy.

Approximately 4.4 million women in the U.S. have bipolar disorder with women of childbearing age having the highest prevalence.

The new study shows the blood concentration of the commonly used drug lamotrigine decreases in pregnant women. About half of the women in the study had worsening depressive symptoms as their lamotrigine blood levels dropped. The drug levels fall because women have increased metabolism during pregnancy.

Full story of being bipolar and pregnant at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education


High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Could Elevate Risk of Future Stroke

Posted by on Tuesday, 22 October, 2013

High blood pressure during pregnancy could dramatically raise a woman’s lifetime risk of stroke, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

“We’ve found that women who had high blood pressure during pregnancy could be at higher risk of stroke, particularly if they had pre-eclampsia, which is a more severe form of high blood pressure,” says Dr. Aravind Ganesh, a neurology resident at the University of Calgary. “The elevated risk of stroke could be as high as 40 per cent.”

Dr. Ganesh, along with Neha Sarna (medical student), Dr. Rahul Mehta (internal medicine resident) and senior author Dr. Eric Smith (stroke neurologist), conducted a systematic review — basically, a study of studies.

Nine studies specifically looked at hypertension (high blood pressure) during pregnancy and its relationship to future risk of stroke.

The studies followed women for anywhere from one to 32 years after a pregnancy, and found consistent evidence that those with a history of hypertension in pregnancy are more likely to experience stroke in later life.

Full story of high blood pressure during pregnancy at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education


Cocaine Exposure in the Womb: The Brain Structure Is Intact, Development Is Off Track

Posted by on Thursday, 26 September, 2013

Prenatal cocaine exposure affects both behavior and brain. Animal studies have shown that exposure to cocaine during in utero development causes numerous disruptions in normal brain development and negatively affects behavior from birth and into adulthood.

For ethical reasons, similar studies in humans have been more limited but some research has shown that children exposed prenatally to cocaine have impairments in attention, control, stress, emotion regulation, and memory. Research also suggests that such children may be more predisposed to initiate substance use.

Since adolescence is the typical period in life when substance use begins, researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine, led by Dr. Rajita Sinha, conducted a study to evaluate the gray matter differences and likelihood of substance use in adolescents who were cocaine-exposed prenatally versus those who were not.

To do this, they recruited 42 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17, exposed in utero, who are part of a long-term cohort that have been followed since birth. They also studied 21 non-cocaine-exposed adolescents for comparison. All of the participants underwent structural neuroimaging scans and answered questions about their use of all kinds of illegal drugs, in addition to submitting urine samples for toxicology analyses.

Full story of cocaine during pregnancy at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education