Fetal Alcohol Exposure and the Brain

Nearly 30 years ago, scientists first coined the term “fetal alcohol syndrome” (FAS) to describe a pattern of birth defects found in children of mothers who consumed alcohol during pregnancy.

Today, FAS remains the leading known preventable cause of mental retardation. Behavioral and neurological problems associated with prenatal alcohol exposure may lead to poor academic performance as well as legal and employment difficulties in adolescence and adulthood.

Despite attempts to increase public awareness of the risks involved, increasing numbers of women are drinking during pregnancy.

This bulletin updates Alcohol Alert No. 13 with new data on the prevalence and nature of the neurobehavioral problems associated with alcohol use during pregnancy, explores potential mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced damage to the developing brain, and discusses prevention research. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa50.htm

From; Join Together Online

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