Alcohol Damage to Fetal Brain Blocked by Indian-Origin Scientist

by Rajashri on August 12, 2008 at 5:27 PM
 Alcohol Damage to Fetal Brain Blocked by Indian-Origin Scientist

A team led by an Indian-origin scientist was able to prevent alcohol damage in the cerebellum in a study on fetal alcohol syndrome.

Jayanth Ramadoss' team did so by blocking acid sensitive potassium channels, and preventing the acidic environment that alcohol produces.


Cerebellum is responsible for balance and muscle coordination, and is quite vulnerable to injury from alcohol during development.

The scientists found that despite alcohol helping in lowering the amount of oxygen in the blood of the mother, the damage to the foetal cerebellum is caused by the drop in pH, and not by the lack of oxygen.

Experiments on sheep helped Ramadoss and his colleagues to show that the damage can be prevented by blocking acid sensitive potassium channels, known as TASK channels, that lead into the Purkinje cells.

Foetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in which maternal drinking during pregnancy injures the brain of the developing foetus, and may cause cognitive impairments and difficulty in regulating the behaviour in kids having this syndrome.

Maternal drinking lowers the blood pH of both the mother and the foetus, making the blood more acidic, which according to researchers is responsible for the damage caused Purkinje cells of the foetal cerebellum.

The researchers used 56 pregnant sheep, and induced the change in pH in some sheep using alcohol, while in others they manipulated the extracellular pH.

It was found that alcohol produced a 45 percent reduction in Purkinje cells of the foetal cerebellum, while the pH changes alone produced a 24 percent decrease.

However, when the researchers administered a drug, doxapram, to block the TASK channels leading into the Purkinje cells, they were able to prevent the change in pH in the foetal cerebellar cells and prevented any reduction in the number of these cells.

"This study demonstrates that direct pharmacological blockade of TASK 1 and TASK 3 channels protects the most sensitive target of fetal alcohol exposure, cerebellar Purkinje cells," concluded the authors.

The study, "Acid Sensitive Channel Inhibition Prevents Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Loss," is published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Physiology.

Source: ANI
Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest Research News

Confronting the Painful Realities of Racial Bias in Health
Painful realities of racial discrimination and bias are increasingly acknowledged as harmful to the well-being.
Intricate Dance of Flaxseed, Gut Microbiome, and Breast Cancer Genes
Role of flaxseed in the relationship between gut microorganisms and mammary gland microRNAs has been uncovered by a new study.
MRNA Therapy's Promise for Chronic and Acute Liver Disease
New mRNA stem cell therapy, akin to COVID-19 vaccine tech, shows potential against chronic and acute liver diseases.
Could Light Therapy Be a Breakthrough for Alzheimer's?
Light therapy enhances sleep and psycho-behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's patients with minimal side effects.
Does Twice Daily Stimulation Enhance Alzheimer's Mental Functions?
Electrical stimulation improves Alzheimer's patients' cognitive function and correlates with restored cortical plasticity.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Alcohol Damage to Fetal Brain Blocked by Indian-Origin Scientist Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests