• May 20, 2024

New research hits a nerve

eyes photo
Photo by madaise

Danish researchers have discovered that the children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy have fewer optic nerves than do the offspring of mothers who didn’t smoke, according to a story in The Copenhagen Post.

The study, carried out by the Rigshospitalet city hospital in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen and Zealand University Hospital, found that mothers of children who smoked during pregnancy had optic nerves that were five percent thinner.

It wasn’t clear from the story whether the issue was about the number of optic nerves or their thickness, but it was certainly seen as important.

“A five percent difference doesn’t sound like a lot for the vision of a 12-year old child,” Inger Christine Munch, a researcher at Zealand University Hospital and senior author of the findings,” was quoted by TV2 News as saying.

“But we lose nerve fibers throughout our lives, and at some point that will lead to holes in the field of view. At that point it would be nice to have had some more optic nerves to draw from.”

The researchers followed 1,323 Danish children born in 2000 and they intend to continue to monitor these young people to see what other consequences smoking during pregnancy might have on vision.

The results could be used also to launch new studies aimed at looking into whether other parts of the central nervous system of fetuses are impacted by mothers smoking while pregnant.

The latest research was recently published in the scientific journal JAMA Ophthalmology.