Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Research: Effects of prenatal exposure to cocaine

A study on rabbits has found that prenatal exposure to low doses of cocaine causes an unusual, long-lasting change in the functioning of dopamine (D1) receptors in the brain, resulting in developmental and behavioral consequences. The study is published in the current Journal of Neuroscience. Abstract. Lead author Greg Stanwood says that the results are significant because they concern the relatively low levels of cocaine typical of recreational users. Children of these mothers appear to be normal at birth, but Stanwood suggests that they will have cognitive and behavioral deficits later on. Press release.

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