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
References in periodicals archive ?
Prenatal alcohol exposure and neurobehavioral development: Where is the threshold?
Nevertheless, many jurists are now calling for legal reform as a result of our knowledge and understanding of the neurodevelopmental disabilities of prenatal alcohol exposure and FASD.
The validity of phosphatidylethanol in dried blood spots of newborns for the identification of prenatal alcohol exposure.
Moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and serotonin genotype interact to alter CNS serotonin function in rhesus monkey offspring.
A 21-year longitudinal analysis of the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on young adult drinking.
Furthermore, many effects of prenatal alcohol exposure are often not evident by age seven, instead presenting later in life as brain development proceeds.
Another study evaluating light to moderate amounts of prenatal alcohol exposure in 10- and 11-year-old children found significantly worse scores regarding a number of neuropsychological developmental assessments.
Retrospective studies on prenatal alcohol exposure have been conducted among mothers of children with FAS in South Africa,5,6 but there has been little research on the association between drinking during the gestational period and less severe forms of FASD presenting as BDDs.
This is the third issue of Alcohol Research & Health and its predecessor, Alcohol Health & Research World, to address the problems resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA] 1994, 2001), and it is clear that although significant progress has been made, many challenges remain.
Myth #3: There is enough evidence to implement routine screening for prenatal alcohol exposure.