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Genetic Alliance; district of Columbia department of Health. Expertise Genetics: A ar of Columbia guide for Patients and Health Professionals. Washington (DC): hereditary Alliance; 2010 Feb 17.


Understanding Genetics: A ar of Columbia guide for Patients and Health Professionals.

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A teratogen is any type of agent that causes an abnormality following fetal exposure duringpregnancy. Teratogens room usually found after an raised prevalence the a particularbirth defect. Because that example, in the early on 1960’s, a drug recognized as thalidomide to be usedto treat morning sickness. Exposure that the fetus during this beforehand stage the developmentresulted in cases of phocomelia, a congenital malformation in i beg your pardon the hands and also feet areattached to abbreviated arms and legs.

Teratogens can additionally be uncovered at residence or the workplace. The impact is related to form ofagent, dose and also duration and also time of exposure. The very first half of pregnancy is the mostvulnerable. Teratogenic agents include contagious agents (rubella, cytomegalovirus,varicella, herpes simplex, toxoplasma, syphilis, etc.); physical agents (ionizing agents,hyperthermia); maternal health components (diabetes, maternal PKU); environmental chemicals(organic mercury compounds, polychlorinated biphenyl or PCB, herbicides and also industrialsolvents); and drugs (prescription, over- the-counter, or recreational). In general, ifmedication is required, the shortest dose possible should be provided and combination drugtherapies and first trimester exposures should be avoided.

The varieties or severity that abnormalities led to by a teratogenic certified dealer is likewise dependent ~ above thegenetic susceptibilities carried by the mother and fetus. Because that example, sports in maternalmetabolism the a certain drug will identify what metabolites the fetus is exposed to andthe term of exposure. The hereditary susceptibility of the fetus come a particularteratogenic agent will also have an effect on the final outcome.

Two of the top preventable reasons of bear defects and developmental disabilities arealcohol and also smoking. Alcohol use in pregnant has significant effects on the fetus and also thebaby. Alcohol have the right to pass native the mother’s blood stream v the placenta to thefetus. Due to the fact that alcohol is broken down much more slowly in a fetus than in an adult, alcohol levelstend to stay high and stay in the baby’s body longer. Bear defects associatedwith prenatal exposure come alcohol can take place in the very first three come eight weeks of pregnancy,before a woman also knows that she is pregnant.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a group of abnormalities in babies born to mothers who consumealcohol during pregnancy. That is the most common known non-genetic (non-inherited) cause ofmental retardation in the U.S. Numerous educational products in English and also Spanish areavailable indigenous the CDC in ~

In 2001, the estimated prevalence of smoking throughout pregnancy for every U.S. Ladies was 11.4%,ranging indigenous 3.9% in DC to 26.2% in West Virginia. Smoking virtually doubles a woman’srisk of having actually a short birth-weight baby as a an outcome of bad growth before birth, pretermdelivery or a mix of both. Premature and also low birth-weight babies challenge an increasedrisk of significant health troubles during the newborn period, chronic lifelong disabilities(e.g., cerebral palsy, psychological retardation) and possibly death. An ext recent researches havesuggested a possible link in between prenatal smoking exposure and behavioral problems in laterchildhood and also adolescence.

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In addition, practically three percent that pregnant women use illicit drugs such as marijuana,cocaine, Ecstasy and other amphetamines, and also heroin. These drugs can reason low birth-weight,withdrawal symptoms, birth defects, or finding out or behavior problems.