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 ?
But maybe we took a wrong turn--which is why it took me 45 years to figure out that fetal alcohol exposure in utero has a significant impact on adult psychiatric disorders.
The Ministry of Health's (MoH) Taking Action on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) states: "FASD is likely to be New Zealand's leading preventable cause of non-genetic intellectual disability." (7) Although there is no current, New Zealand-specific prevalence data, international data (from countries with a less severe drinking culture) estimates that between five and nine per cent of all Live births are likely to be on the FASD spectrum.
While working in a general hospital in a low-income African American environment where there are high rates of fetal alcohol exposure, I see at least three to four suicide attempts a week on the medical-surgical/psychiatric inpatient units where I serve.
For the first time, the guidelines describe other facial changes common in FASD that can be used to diagnose partial fetal alcohol syndrome, including a flat nasal bridge, epicanthal folds, and other signs.
These four categories, which were created by the Institute of Medicine in 1996, are fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which applies to the most severely affected children; partial FAS (PFAS), which applies to children who display some, but not all, of the full spectrum of FAS characteristics; alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), which applies to children who have no physical signs of FAS but do display cognitive or behavioral impairment; and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD), which applies to children with no FAS symptoms aside from a physical malformation brought on by prenatal alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can interfere with both embryonic and fetal development, producing a wide range of outcomes that fall under the rubric of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
While it may seem obvious that the risk of developing fetal alcohol syndrome is related to the amount of alcohol consumed during pregnancy (the more consumed, the greater the risk), there are other factors that contribute to this risk.
Sites used the standardized, multiple-source methodology developed by the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Surveillance Network (2) that relied on passive reporting and active review of records from various sources to identify children with suspected FAS.
In a recent study of 2,000 first-graders, researchers found that fetal alcohol syndrome -- the most severe condition on the spectrum -- affected six to nine kids out of every 1,000.

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