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Birth Defects Affect 7 Percent of Zika-Exposed Babies: Study

Posted 15 Mar 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 14, 2018 – A new study of pregnant women in the Caribbean further confirms that Zika virus causes birth defects, particularly if infection occurs early in pregnancy. About 7 percent of Zika-infected women in French territories of the Caribbean delivered babies that suffered from birth defects of the brain and eyes, researchers report. These numbers are close to those reflected ...

Babies With Normal Head Size Might Still Have Zika-Linked Brain Damage

Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 5, 2018 – Fetal brain damage caused by the Zika virus can go undetected in pregnancy, and can occur even if a baby's head size is normal, research in monkeys suggests. The findings indicate that many children with Zika-related brain damage may go undiagnosed and are at increased risk for learning disorders, mental illness and dementia, according to researchers from the University of ...

West Nile Virus May Pose Zika-Like Threat to Fetus

Posted 31 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 – Zika may not be the only virus that can harm a fetus, a new study in mice suggests. "We found that West Nile virus and Powassan viruses shared with Zika the ability to infect the placenta and cause fetal death," said senior researcher Dr. Jonathan Miner, who's with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Both of those viruses are spread by the bites of ...

Low-Carb Diets Boost Risk for Serious Birth Defects

Posted 30 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 30, 2018 – Having a baby? Don't skimp on carbs. Following a low-carbohydrate diet during pregnancy may increase a woman's risk of having a baby with serious birth defects, a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests. Compared with pregnant women who didn't restrict their carbohydrate intake, those on a diet that reduced or eliminated carbs ...

Zika Tied to Rise in U.S. Birth Defects: CDC

Posted 25 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 2018 – There was a significant rise in Zika-related birth defects in areas of the United States with local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus, a new report shows. "Babies with Zika-related birth defects need all the help they can get, as soon as possible, and for as long as they need it," said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

Mom-to-Be's Immune Response May Trigger Zika Birth Defects

Posted 5 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 5, 2018 – Zika might not directly cause the miscarriages and birth defects that have been associated with the notorious virus, a new study in mice suggests. Instead, the ravaging effects of Zika infection on a developing fetus appear to stem from the immune response of the expecting mother, researchers said. Lab mice bred without a key step in their immune response wound up birthing ...

Zika Babies Facing Increasing Health Problems With Age

Posted 15 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 – Most children born with brain abnormalities caused by the Zika virus are facing severe health and developmental challenges at 2 years of age, a new study suggests. These problems may include seizures, an inability to sit independently as well as problems with sleep, feeding, hearing and vision, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

Ritalin During Pregnancy May Raise Risk of Heart Defect in Baby

Posted 13 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 – If you take Ritalin or Concerta for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and you plan to become pregnant, you might want to talk to your doctor about switching your medication first. A new study found a small increased risk of having a baby with a heart defect if Ritalin/Concerta (methylphenidate) was taken by the mother-to-be. However, taking amphetamines ...

Is Air Pollution a Threat to a Fetus?

Posted 11 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 – Women who are exposed to air pollution right before or after they become pregnant may be more likely to have a baby with birth defects, new research suggests. The increased risk is modest, but scientists say their findings warrant more investigation since all pregnant women are exposed to some level of pollution. "The most susceptible time of exposure appears to be the ...

Long Spaceflights Could Put Pressure on the Brain

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 – The brains of astronauts who spend months in space appear to shift upward inside their skulls by the time they return to Earth, a new study finds. The repercussions, if any, are uncertain for now, researchers said. It's not clear how quickly the brain might settle back into its rightful place once Earth's gravity has taken hold, said lead researcher Dr. Donna Roberts. ...

Conjoined Twins Separated in Medically, Ethically Complex Surgery

Posted 25 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 – A new report on the separation of conjoined twins illustrates the gut-wrenching decisions doctors often have to make in highly complicated medical cases. The choice was difficult for doctors at MassGeneral Hospital for Children: Separate twin girls from East Africa in a 14-hour surgery and save the stronger one, or do nothing and lose both children. In the end, only ...

How Zika Virus Went From Mild to Devastating

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – A single genetic mutation just a few years back gave the Zika virus the ability to cause severe neurological birth defects like microcephaly, a new study in mice suggests. Scientists have known about the Zika virus since 1947, when it was discovered in a monkey from the Zika Forest in Uganda. At that point, it was only linked to mild symptoms. It wasn't until the Zika ...

Mom-to-Be's Cellphone Use May Not Harm Fetal Brain

Posted 5 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – Chatting away on a cellphone while pregnant doesn't appear to have a negative effect on the brain development of the growing fetus, a new study reports. "The concern for harm to the fetus caused by radio frequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by mobile phones, is mainly driven by reports from experimental animal studies with inconsistent results," said ...

Some Newborns Don't Get Heart Defect, Hearing Loss Tests

Posted 25 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 25, 2017 – Some newborns in the United States still aren't getting screened for hearing loss or congenital heart disease, a new report shows. "Newborn screening at birth is crucial to quickly identify infants at risk of hearing loss and congenital [inherited] heart disease so they can receive early intervention and follow-up care," said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the U.S. ...

Zika Hijacks Pregnant Woman's Immune System

Posted 21 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 – The Zika virus thrives in pregnant women by suppressing their already dampened immune systems and running roughshod over their body's natural defenses, which allows the virus to directly attack the fetus, a new study reports. A woman's immune system naturally suppresses itself during pregnancy to keep the body from recognizing the fetus as a foreign body and attacking it, ...

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