Would-be mothers who binge drink during pregnancy expose their fetuses to an increased risk of suffering from a series of neural development problems after birth. The conclusion belongs to a new study by experts at the University of New South Wales.
The investigators focused their efforts on analyzing information processing and stability of performance in the forming brain. Details of the work will appear in the December issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, PsychCentral
Children born from mothers who drank a lot during pregnancy may go on to display reduced learning abilities, attention deficits, poor planning and organizational skills, as well as an inability to figure out the consequences of their actions.
“We have demonstrated that at the time of exposure, alcohol is affecting a fundamental psychological process known as habituation that underlies many of our more complex psychological abilities,” study team leader Leo Leader, MD, explains.