Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that ultrasound could be damaging to developing brain of a fetus. Before we eschew ultrasound altogether, we should recognize that the study found that rat fetuses under repeated ultrasound had neurons that failed to connect properly to the cerebral cortex. That’s all. Don’t take our word for it, as Dr Pasko Rakic…
“Our study in mice does not mean use of ultrasound on human fetuses for appropriate diagnostic and medical purposes should be abandoned,” said Dr. Pasko Rakic, lead researcher and chairman of the neurobiology department at Yale University School of Medicine.
However, he said women should avoid unnecessary ultrasound scans until more research has been done.
Dr. Joshua Copel, president-elect of the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine, said his organization tries to discourage “entertainment” ultrasound, but considers sonograms important when there is a medical benefit.
Rakic’s paper said that while the effects of ultrasound in human brain development are not known, there are disorders thought to be the result of misplacement of brain cells during their development.
“These disorders range from mental retardation and childhood epilepsy to developmental dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia,” the researchers said.
But some expectant parents have sought scans to save as keepsakes even when they were not medically necessary, a practice the Food and Drug Administration discourages.
But who would be so brash as to unnecessarily expose their child to ultrasound? We’ll give you three guesses…
The Institute of Ultrasound Medicine was particularly concerned last year when it was announced Cruise had purchased an ultrasound machine so he and his pregnant fiancee, Katie Holmes, could do their own sonograms.