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Study will test pot’s effects on infants’ brain development

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The “Moms + Marijuana” study is co-led by Drs. Natalia Kleinhans and Stephen Dager, radiologists at the University of Washington School of Medicine. They will track the subjects’ marijuana use from the first trimester throughout pregnancy and then scan infants’ brains at age 6 months to identify possible effects of cannabis exposure.
Kleinhans said this study aims to expand on existing literature by clarifying marijuana’s effects without the confounding influences of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
“The very few investigations that have studied prenatal cannabis exposure and infant brain development have all involved women who are polysubstance drug users. No one has looked at marijuana use exclusively,” she said. “This study will also involve periodic drug testing during pregnancy to verify in real time that moms aren’t using other drugs, rather than relying on the mother's self-report after the child is born."

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