For the Health of Your Baby, Stay Away From Unnecessary Ultrasounds
August 22, 2006
A study has shown that the frequent use of ultrasound causes brain abnormalities in the developing fetuses of mice.
A small but significant number of neurons in the embryonic mouse brain do not migrate to the correct positions in the cerebral cortex if ultrasound is used often and for prolonged periods.
Neurons must move to a position that determines their connectivity and function after they form. Improper migration can lead to abnormal cortical function.
More than 300 fetal mice were injected with special markers to track their neural development.
Ultrasound exposure caused a number of neurons to remain scattered in inappropriate cortical layers. The dispersion of the neurons increased as the duration of exposure to ultrasound waves increased.
Further research will be done on primates in order to help determine whether or not this will also be a problem for human fetuses.