The long lasting effects of alcohol consumption by pregnant women on fetuses is increasingly surfacing. A recent study revealed another harmful effect of alcohol on the developing fetus in rats.

Moleclar Psychiatry published a research on the 18 July 2017 revealing the findings of a study conducted on rats that showed alcohol's effect on the hippocampus, an area dealing with memory-related genes.

Exposure to alcohol may result in permanent learning damage in children as their memory and concentration are reportedly affected.

Alcohol consumption and pregnancy

Earlier on, alcohol consumption was not considered unhealthy during pregnancy.

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However, with the advancement of science and medicine and through several recent studies, the injurious #Effects Of Alcohol on fetuses have been found to be enormous.

Most experts advise complete abstention from drinking during pregnancy stating that there is no safe amount for the consumption of liquor. Liquor travels through the mother's system quickly and enters the placenta giving the developing fetus first-hand exposure to it.

In addition to increased chances of miscarriage and still birth, alcohol has numerous effects on the entire system of a fetus including its immune system. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is the general term given to problems arising from fetal exposure to alcohol. These include behavioral defects, mental defects and in the most severe case life-long effects as in fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

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Cause of fetal alcohol syndrome

Estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that Fetal alcohol syndrome disorders affect close to 5 percent of U.S. kids. That is an overwhelming number when it can be controlled.

The cause of such strong effects of alcohol on fetuses hasn't been discovered yet but scientists suspect that as alcohol induces low levels of thyroids, the development of the fetal brain is hampered. Mothers who drink are unable to provide the developing thyroid needs of the baby due to alcohol consumption.

Good news

The focus of the above research was not this discovery though. Scientists performing the research then administered doses of thyroxine (thyroid hormone) and metformin (blood sugar medicine) to the newborn rats (alcohol exposed) and there was a significant improvement in their conditions.

At present there are no treatments available for FAS, so the study on rats may provide a prolog to something profound in the future.

Even though there is no guarantee that a treatment that works with rats will work with humans, the base provided by this experiment will definitely be useful in the future. But to be on the safe side, keep the bottle away.