Babies born in opioid withdrawal have unusually small heads

Last Updated: Monday, December 17, 2018

baby tape measure head(Science News, December 12) A newly released study found that babies who are born dependent on opioids have smaller heads than babies who weren’t exposed.

The study was published in a recent issue of Pediatrics. Researchers measured the heads of 860 babies born between 2014 and 2016. They found that newborns with NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome, which occurs when the infants experience withdrawal symptoms after birth) had heads that were about 1 centimeter smaller in circumference than the other babies. While it’s possible that smaller heads might be indicative of a smaller brain, researchers are still examining “the actual impact of the smaller heads on how these children are developing,” neonatologist Jonathan Davis said, Science News reports. Read more.

 

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