Fetal ultrasound may affect development of baby’s brain

In baby mice whose mothers were exposed to ultrasound for 30 minutes or longer during pregnancy, a small but significant number of nerve cells did not migrate to their proper locations in the brain, Yale University researchers reported in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, according to Forbes.

Copel stressed that, to minimize any risk, "ultrasound should be performed for medical reasons, not for entertainment."

The scientists said that their results call for further investigations in larger and slower-developing brains of non-human primates and comprehensive epidemiological studies in humans.

The scientists stressed that mice and humans are very different. The period during which cells migrate to specific parts of the developing pain is much longer for humans than for mice. It is possible that 30 minutes of ultrasound has a much bigger impact on a mouse's developing brain than a human's. In order to see what the effect may be on humans we would need to carry out similar tests on animals that are more similar to humans, Medical News Today reports.

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