fetal alcohol syndrome

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fetal alcohol syndrome

(FAS), pattern of physical, developmental, and psychological abnormalities seen in babies born to mothers who consumed alcohol during pregnancypregnancy,
period of time between fertilization of the ovum (conception) and birth, during which mammals carry their developing young in the uterus (see embryo). The average duration of pregnancy in humans is about 280 days, equal to 9 calendar months.
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. The abnormalities include low birthweight, facial deformities, and mental retardation, and there appears to be an association with impulsive behavior, anxiousness, and an inability on the part of the affected children to understand the consequences of their actions. When some but not all of these abnormalities are present, they are referred to as fetal alcohol effects (FAE). FAE has been observed in children of mothers who drank as little as two drinks per week during pregnancy. FAS affects 1 to 2 babies per 1,000 born worldwide. Many require constant lifelong supervision and end up institutionalized because of dysfunction in the family. FAS was first defined as a syndrome in 1973, although it has been observed for centuries. See also alcoholismalcoholism,
disease characterized by impaired control over the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcoholism is a serious problem worldwide; in the United States the wide availability of alcoholic beverages makes alcohol the most accessible drug, and alcoholism is the most
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.

Bibliography

See M. Dorris, The Broken Cord: A Family's Ongoing Struggle with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (1989).

fetal alcohol syndrome

[‚fēd·əl ′al·kə‚hȯl ‚sin‚drōm]
(medicine)
A spectrum of changes in the offspring of women who consume alcoholic beverages during pregnancy, ranging from mild mental changes to severe growth deficiency, mental retardation, and abnormal facial features.

fetal alcohol syndrome

a condition in newborn babies caused by excessive intake of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy: characterized by various defects including mental retardation