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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Binging Is Bad

WASHINGTON -- A single drinking binge by a pregnant woman can be enough to permanently damage the brain of her unborn child, according to a study on the effects of alcohol on babies.

Although experiments in the study were conducted on laboratory rats, experts said the findings offer an explanation of why children born to drinking mothers can suffer learning disabilities and other brain disorders.

The study indicates rats, and presumably humans, are most susceptible to alcohol-related neurological damage during a period when developing brain cells are building the connections needed for memory, learning and thought. In humans, this brain growth starts in the sixth month of gestation and continues for two years after birth.