The Effects of Prenatal Alcohol and Marijuana Exposure: Disturbances in Neonatal Sleep Cycling and Arousal

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ABSTRACT: Neonatal EEG and sleep findings are presented from a longitudinal study of the effects of maternal alcohol and marijuana use during pregnancy. Infant outcome has been examined relative to the trimester(s) of pregnancy during which use occurred. Disturbances in sleep cycling, motility, and arousals were noted that were both substance and trimester specific. Alcohol consumed during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with disruptions in sleep and arousal, whereas marijuana use affected sleep and motility regardless of the trimester in which it was used. Although these findings are preliminary and based on a small sample of women exhibiting only moderate substance use during pregnancy, they do suggest that specific neurophysiological systems may be differentially affected by prenatal alcohol or marijuana exposure even in the absence of morphological abnormalities.

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Correspondence to Mark S Scher.

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Scher, M., Richardson, G., Coble, P. et al. The Effects of Prenatal Alcohol and Marijuana Exposure: Disturbances in Neonatal Sleep Cycling and Arousal. Pediatr Res 24, 101–105 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-198807000-00023

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