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  Mens Sana Monographs
A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 98-108

The Foetal 'Mind' as a Reflection of its Inner Self: Evidence from Colour Doppler Ultrasound of Foetal MCA

Department of Radio-diagnosis, Rural Medical College, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences LONI, At Post-LONI, Rahata, Ahmednagar - 413 736, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushil Ghanshyam Kachewar
Department of Radio-diagnosis, Rural Medical College, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, At Post-LONI, Rahata, Ahmednagar -413 736, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.85495

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The unborn healthy foetus is looked upon as a blessing by one and all. A plethora of thoughts arise in the brains of expectant parents. But what goes on in the brain of the yet unborn still remains a mystery. 'Foetal mind' is a reflection of functions of its organs of sense, an instrument of knowledge that may even be reduced to machine to demonstrate the effect of sense organs and brain contact. Testimony to this fact are the various waveform patterns obtained non-invasively from the foetal Middle Cerebral Artery (MCA) by using Colour Doppler Ultrasound. Our study, conducted for evaluating the foetal MCA in a rural obstetric population in Maharashtra, India, explains how the MCA - a major artery supplying foetal brain, can give abundant information about foetal heart and foetal stress. When only the foetal heart is stressed by the presence of arrhythmias or ectopic beats, these changes are manifest in the foetal MCA velocity waveform pattern as seen on Colour Doppler study. When the entire foetus is under stress, as in cases of intra uterine growth retardation (IUGR), changes again manifest in the foetal MCA velocity waveform pattern and are designated as the foetal Brain Sparing Effect. Thus scientific evaluation of foetal MCA waveform can objectively demonstrate that the overtly non-communicating foetal brain indeed remains an internal organ of sense and a vital instrument of knowledge to clarify the various effects of sense organs and brain contact. Although the brain parenchyma or cerebral metabolism has not been studied here, cerebral vessels serve as a window to cerebral metabolism, as auto regulatory function of brain leads to changes in haemodynamics of cerebral vessels. Also, like other vessels, MCA mirrors foetal distress and IUGR; but unlike other vessels, e.g. the umbilical or uterine artery, which show these changes in the form of reduction or even reversal of diastolic flow, MCA shows an increase in diastolic component due to brain sparing effect. The unique connection between physical changes in the foetal heart, brain and mental operations are thus critically clarified to some extent, and this helps untangle and comprehend the lattice of mental operations. Although this preliminary study has its limitations, it still carries forward the present corpus of knowledge on the strength of its evidential and critical enquiry and helps unravel the concept of foetal consciousness.

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