Document Detail

Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy may delay the development of spontaneous fetal startle behaviour.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15639155     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy may delay the development of spontaneous fetal startle behaviour. Previous study indicated that fetuses exposed to alcohol exhibited a significantly higher incidence of spontaneous startles compared to fetuses not exposed at 20 weeks gestation. This study examined startle behaviour longitudinally from 20 to 35 weeks gestation to determine whether the previous results were due to 'developmental delay' or a 'permanent effect'. The number of spontaneous startles exhibited by fetuses of mothers who drank during pregnancy and fetuses whose mothers did not drink was recorded at 20, 25, 30 and 35 weeks gestation during a 45-min observation. The results indicate that exposure to alcohol during pregnancy significantly increases the exhibition of spontaneous startles by the fetus but across gestation there is significant catch-up in startle behaviour. The results suggest exposure to alcohol delays the natural maturation of spontaneous startle behaviour of the fetus but also has a smaller 'permanent' effect. It is suggested that these effects are mediated by alcohol exerting an effect on the inhibitory pathways controlling startle behaviour.
Peter G Hepper; James C Dornan; Jennifer F Little
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiology & behavior     Volume:  83     ISSN:  0031-9384     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiol. Behav.     Publication Date:  2005 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-01-10     Completed Date:  2005-05-02     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0151504     Medline TA:  Physiol Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  711-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Fetal Behaviour Research Centre, School of Psychology, The Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 INN, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
Central Nervous System Depressants / blood
Ethanol / blood
Fetal Development / drug effects*
Fetus / physiology*
Gestational Age
Observer Variation
Pregnancy / physiology*
Startle Reaction / drug effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Central Nervous System Depressants; 64-17-5/Ethanol

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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