Brain scans reveal that cocaine, alcohol and tobacco used during pregnancy can cause changes in the brain scan of developing fetuses, and that these changes can remain detectable for years, HealthDay News reported April 7.
“We found that reductions in cortical gray matter and total brain volumes were associated with prenatal exposure to cocaine, alcohol or cigarettes,” said researcher Michael Rivkin of Children’s Hospital and the Boston Medical Center conducted MRI scans on the brains of 35 children with an average age of 12 who had been exposed to cocaine, tobacco or alcohol before birth. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome were excluded from the study.
Researchers found that the more substances the adolescents had been exposed to, the more brain volume they lost.
The study was published in the April 2008 issue of the journal Pediatrics.
At Central Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, we have special programs to serve women who are pregnant or past partum, and who are at risk for substance abuse, or participating in substance use already. Services can be provided at your site or at any location convenient to the women receiving services. CTCADA also provides adolescent outpatient treatment, generally free of charge to substance abusing youth, 13-17. Call Cecilia at 254-690-4455 to set up an appointment.
CTCADA offers both adolescent intervention and treatment programs. Education, individual counseling, family therapy, group counseling and referral to other resources are all part of a comprehensive effort to prevent or intervene in youth alcohol and drug abuse. Cal us at 254-690-4455!