advertisement
15 September 2009

Genes+alcohol's effect on foetus

Study in mice could explain differing outcomes of drinking while pregnant.

Study in mice could explain differing outcomes of drinking while pregnant.

Genetics may influence the risk of physical and mental problems in babies born to women who drink alcohol during pregnancy, say U.S. researchers.

It's known that drinking while pregnant can be harmful to babies, but not all women who drink give birth to children with noticeable deficits, noted Chris Downing, a research associate at the University of Colorado, and his colleagues.

They gave alcohol to five inbred strains of pregnant female mice and found varying degrees of birth defects among the offspring.

"In other words, certain strains [of mice] were sensitive to some effects of prenatal alcohol and resistant to others," Downing said in a university news release. "The fact that inbred strains differed showed that genetics plays a role."

Not just applicable to mice
And, he said, the findings can be applied to humans.

"Since genetic effects on prenatal alcohol phenotypes in mice have been demonstrated, and the mouse and human genomes are remarkably similar, it suggests genetics plays a role in humans as well," Downing said. "Human researchers need to begin to systematically investigate genetic factors mediating susceptibility and resistance to the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure."

The study appears online Wednesday and in the July print issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

(HealthDay News, April 2009)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.

advertisement