Research suggests that fetal exposure to chemicals or drugs can cause neurological problems. Babies whose mothers take the epilepsy drug valporic acid (VPA) during pregnancy, for example, appear to have an elevated risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. In a new study, scientists who developed a tadpole model of this exposure directly observed deleterious effects on brain physiology and behavior. Understanding that connection could provide scientists with the opportunity to discover how to stop it.
Brown University scientists report that they have developed a tadpole model to investigate how exposure to the drug VPA affects developing neural physiology and behavior.
Credit: Brown University
The National Eye Institute, the National Science Foundation and Brown University funded the study.