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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Prenatal ultrasound waves harm mice's brains.


As you know, the ultrasound waves (USW) (sonography, ultrasonography scanning, echography, etc), supposes the emission of high frequency sound waves toward the body (skin, muscles, empty areas, bone, etc). The bouncing of the sonic waves (echoes), permits to calculate distances among the scanner (transmitter,transducer) and the objects or bodies. In the meantime a special prosecution, permits the generation of three-dimensional images (3D). By being a simple procedure -with absence of short-term complications- the prenatal USW, has become in the last years, a customary luck and universal pleasure. What a pleasure, to be taken a photo, the first one (prenatal), with a baby by being born. One sight his face, the finger in his mouth, his little hands, his face, his lovely closed eyes and contemplates him entranced, desiring to remain there hours and hours ¿But will be adequate to carry out prenatal USW very often? Lacks the USW, of counter-indications for the baby?. In the United Kingdom (UK), the medical authorities recommend a maximum of 2 prenatal USW -of control-. In case of suspects of human development’s anomalies, can be taken more, being advised not to transfer the limit of 5. In USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dissuades its prenatal employment by reasons done not relate to the health (amusement). Some Associations of Ginecology, are beginning to recommend expositions to prenatal USW with a maximal duration of 30 minutes

Studies carried out up to now support the USW, as a harmless procedure. Nevertheless a recent work conducted by the eminent neurobiologist Pasko Rakic, of the Kavli Neuroscience Institute of the University of Yale, published in the PNAS, is generating not little controversy. Rakic and collaborators injected cerebral neurons markers (BrdU and NeuN: histochemical scoreboards of replicatión of DNA, to migrant neurons from ventrícles toward the cerebral cortex), to 335 embryonic mice (16 days), submitted to prenatal USW, being shown that a small but statistically significant group of neurons, did not complete their predetermined migrations, occupying but well dispersed and ectopic places in the cortex or white substance, conditioning behavioural problems, maladjustments of communication between neuron-neuron, potential convulsive foci, cell membrane and neural cell breaks, not happening anything with mice of control, done not submit to USW. The effects were more intense when the exposure time was greater than 30 minutes. Although prominent members of Australian Ginecology Association, recognizes the results, he defends the employment of USW, alleging that the distance between the scanner and the human brain is greater that in mice and, that bones of the human skull, are but dense (but protective). As if that were not enough, some prior studies carried out in mice’s embryos submitted to USW, showed that the heat generated by the USW, conditioned gastrointestinal hemorrhages in the rodents. Other reports –without confirmation- originating from mothers of supposedly affected children submitted to this prenatal procedure, imply the USW, like cause of left-hand cases, slowness to speak, autism, schizophrenia and others.

Ultrasonido prenatal, daña cerebro de ratones.
Como se sabe el ultrasonido –US- (sonografia, ultrasonography scanning, echography, etc), supone la emision de ondas sónicas (sonido), de alta frecuencia hacia el organismo (piel, músculos, áreas vacias, hueso,etc). El rebote de las ondas sónicas (ecos), permite calcular distancias entre el scanner (transductor, emisor) y los objetos o cuerpos, en tanto un procesamiento especial, permite la generación de imágenes tridimensionales (3D). Por ser un procedimiento sencillo -con ausencia de complicaciones a corto plazo- el US prenatal, ha devenido en los ultimos años, en una suerte de costumbre y placer universal. Que delicia, tomarse una foto, la primera (intrauterina), con un bebé por nacer. Uno mira su cara, el dedo en la boca, sus manitas, su carita, sus ojillos cerrados y lo contempla extasiado, deseando permanecer alli, horas y horas ¿Pero será adecuado realizar USs prenatales frecuentemente? ¿carece el US, de contraindicaciones para el bebé?. En el Reino Unido (RU), las autoridades médicas recomiendan un máximo de 2 US prenatales, de control-. En caso de sospecha de anomalias del desarrollo se pueden tomar más, aconsejándose no traspasar el limite de 5. En USA, la Food and Drug Administration (FDA), desaconseja su empleo prenatal, por razones no relacionadas con la salud (diversión). Algunas Asociaciones de Ginecologia, estan empezando a recomendar exposiciones de US, prenatales con una duracion máxima de 30 minutos.

Estudios realizados hasta ahora avalan al US, como un procedimiento inocuo. No obstante un reciente trabajo conducido por el eminente neurobiólogo Pasko Rakic, del Instituto de Neurociencias Kavli, de la Universidad de Yale, publicado en el PNAS, está generando no poca controversia. Rakic y colaboradores inyectaron trazadores cerebrales (BrdU y NeuN : marcadores histoquimicos -de replicación de DNA. de neuronas migrantes de ventrículos hacia la corteza cerebral), a 335 ratones embrionarios (16 dias), sometidos a US prenatal, demostrándose que un grupo pequeño pero estadísticamente significativo de neuronas, no completaron sus migraciones predeterminadas, ocupando mas bien lugares ectópicos y dispersos en la corteza o sustancia blanca, condicionando problemas conductuales, desajustes de comunicación con neuronas circundantes, potenciales focos convulsivos, rotura celular y de membranas celulares neurales, no sucediendo nada con ratones de control, no sometidos a US. Los efectos fueron mas intensos, cuanto mas tiempo (mas de 30 minutos), duró la exposición al US. Aunque prominentes miembros de la Sociedad Australiana de Ginecologia, reconocen los resultados, defiende la realización del empleo de US, alegando que la distancia entre el scanner y el cerebro humano es mayor que en ratones y, que los huesos del cráneo humano, son mas densos (mas protectores). Por si fuera poco, algunos estudios previos realizados en ratones prenatales sometidos a US, demostraron que el calor generado por el US, condicionó hemorragias gastrointestinales en los roedores. Otros reportes aislados –sin confirmación- provenientes de madres de niños sujetos a este procedimiento prenatal, implican al US, como causante de zurdismo, lentitud para hablar, autismo, esquizofrenia, etc.

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