How does ultrasound testing affect the developing nervous system? – scientists of the University of Debrecen are looking for the answer to this question in a world-wide unique embryology research. Their results may also contribute to the therapy of some neurodegenerative diseases.Ultrasound has been used routinely in pregnancy diagnosis in Hungary since the 1980s. According to our current knowledge, this is the only diagnostic process that can be safely used during pregnancy, as it does not pose a threat to either the fetus or the mother. Now, in their unique research, scientists of the University of Debrecen are investigating the extent to which ultrasound causes permanent changes in the developing brain.
Such research has not been carried out anywhere in the world: now, local experts are trying to completely explore other effects of ultrasound than other research groups in the world have done before.
According to Zoltán Mészár, Assistant Professor of the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Development at the Faculty of Medicine, leader of the research, in the process, mice and immature embryonic brain neurons are labeled in a so-called transgenic manner, and similarly, pregnant mice are also exposed to similar ultrasound diagnostic processes that are performed in humans during routine pregnancy tests.
“The changes in the projection systems of marked neurons are monitored digitally in a high resolution, 3 dimensional space. We concentrate on two brain areas: the hippocampus and the limbic areas of the frontal lobe.”
Experiments with only half a year of research are still in progress, but from the results so far, for experts, it seems that ultrasound stimulates developing neurons, resulting in permanent morphological changes.
Source: www.unideb.hu / www.debreceninap.hu