Jun 19, 2019 | Updated: 09:31 AM EDT

Nicotine Exposure Before And After Birth Causes Hearing Problems For Babies

Feb 14, 2017 01:21 AM EST

Lifestyle During Pregnancy
(Photo : Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) LONDON - JULY 18: In this photo illustration a pregnant woman is seen holding a cigarette on July 18, 2005 in London, England. Research has shown that smoking during pregnancy damages a baby's airways before the child is born.

Nicotine does not only affect adults and smokers, it might also affect newborn babies as studies show. Pre-mature babies and new-born babies that are exposed to Nicotine might have hearing problems due to abnormal development in the auditory brainstem.

Indian Express has reported that the risks of having hearing problems for babies that are exposed to nicotine before or after birth are really high. It greatly affects the auditory brainstem. The auditory brainstem is an area of the brain that is used for analysing sound patterns. Researchers has found that transmission of signals to other auditory brainstem were less successful.

According to Medical News Today, a new research done in Freie Universität Berlin in Germany has studied mice. The research, led by Ursula Koch, has further explored the other side effects of nicotine to babies. The research specifically investigated on development of the auditory brainstem.

Koch's team has experimented on mice. They have put an exact amount of nicotine a heavy smoker would take to the pregnant mother's water. They have also continued the nicotine exposure of the baby after it was born. The baby mouse drank its mother's milk that is still exposed to nicotine for three weeks straight.

After that, the scientists analyzed the baby mouse's neurons and other baby mice neurons that weren't exposed to nicotine. The outcome was the baby mouse with nicotine exposure has less responsive neurons than the other offspring. The signals of the exposed baby ware less clear and it was slower. The sound pattern has also deteriorated compared to the healthier mice. It was also found out that children with hearing disabilities are more likely to have learning disabilities too.

Koch stated that pregnant mothers who smoke might expose their babies to many other birth effects. Koch further stated that they need to study other birth defects that weren't clearly showed in their experiment. 

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