Researchers from the University of Canterbury are reporting that women who take a combination of alcohol and the drug ecstasy during pregnancy may be exposing their offspring to grave danger.
Psychology researcher Dr Juan Canales revealed that women who take drugs while pregnant are likely to give birth to offspring prematurely. Additionally, these babies can have learning and developmental defects.
In the current study on rats, the researchers found that a combination of alcohol and ecstasy can cause severe brain abnormalities in offspring. This is the first study to demonstrate that a combination of the two substances poses greater danger than when the two are consumed independently.
Rodents exposed to the combination had impaired memory function and also exhibited sever learning difficulties. "These effects were minimal in subjects exposed to only one of the drugs, suggesting that the mixing of drugs can have very negative consequences," Dr Canales explained.