Drug could protect fetuses from mothers' drinking


IF PREGNANT women can’t give up drinking there might one day be a drug they can take to protect their fetuses from brain damage. Timothy Cudd of Texas A&M University gave pregnant sheep alcohol and then doxapram, a drug that counteracts some of the effects of ethanol. He found the drug stopped the alcohol from destroying cells in the fetuses’ brains (American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.90321.2008). “The best solution is not drinking, but when education has done everything it can, and women still drink, we have to look for alternatives,” he says. Meanwhile,
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