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Health Agencies Update
October 16, 2002

Light on Fetal Brains

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JAMA. 2002;288(15):1838. doi:10.1001/jama.288.15.1838

Light flashed through a pregnant woman's abdomen may one day help detect brain damage in her fetus, said researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) who helped develop the stimulus-response system (Lancet. 2002;360:779-781).

Previous studies have shown that maternal hypertension, diabetes, pregnancy with multiple infants, and other conditions can lead to fetal hypoxia. Prenatal infections, smoking, and other problems can also interfere with normal fetal brain development.