Right Light on the Mother’s Belly May Be Important to the Fetus
[Source: Science Daily]
There may be a link between exposure to light during pregnancy and fetal brain development. New findings by researchers at Umeå University, Sweden, working in collaboration with American colleagues, may provide better understanding of certain neurological diseases later in life.
“Ultimately, this discovery may open up possibilities for using the right kind of light stimulation during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neurological disorders in adulthood,” says Professor Lena Gunhaga at Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine, Umeå University.
The research group at Umeå University, together with researchers in the group of Professor Richard Lang in Cincinnati, USA, now demonstrate that a light receptor called Opsin 3 is already expressed in parts of the central and peripheral nervous systems during the early stages of fetal development. The Opsin 3 molecule has a broad but distinct expression that suggests an important role in the formation of various neurons, neural pathways and areas of the brain and spinal cord. Opsin 3 expression can be linked to a number of motor and sensory neural pathways that regulate movement, pain, vision and olfaction, as well as memory, mood and emotion.
PediaStaff is Hiring!All Jobs
PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.