Research Claims Babies Exposed To Marijuana In The Womb Actually Have Better Eyesight
In a controversial new study taken up by the University of Waterloo,Auckland, and Brown University, researchers havefound that exposure to marijuana can improve a childs ability to track moving objects.
Professor Ben Thompson of the University of Waterloo explained how their findings were surprising:
It shows that marijuana and alcohol can have quite an impact on a fundamental aspect of the visual processing happening in our brains.
But despite the apparently beneficial impact of marijuana on the development of the brains visual system, other research shows its use can actually impair the brain development of unborn children.
Last week, the American Medical Association suggested that marijuana products should be labelled, Marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding poses potential harms.
The research involvedtesting higher-level visual processing in a group of four-year-old children who had been exposed to different combinations of marijuana, alcohol, methyl amphetamines, or nicotine while in the womb. The results were compared with a control group of children not exposed to any drugs in the womb.
In contrast, exposure to alcohol was found to have had a negative effect.
At the moment, there have still only been relativelyfew human studies carried out that look at the effects of smoking cannabis during pregnancy although rat studies have suggested the practice can cause brain damage in the infant.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse in America say that more research is needed in order to separate marijuana use from other factors, but have said:
Human studies have shown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies respond differently to visual stimuli, tremble more, and have a high-pitched cry, which could indicate problems with neurological development.
So… maybe not.
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