What developmental process is impaired in fetal alcohol syndrome?

The concept Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) refers to a set of birth defects that occur in children born to mothers who abused alcohol during pregnancy. The alcohol-induced defects include pre- and post-natal growth deficiencies, minor facial abnormalities, and damage to the developing central nervous system (CNS).

How does fetal alcohol syndrome affect development?

People with FAS have central nervous system (CNS) problems, minor facial features, and growth problems. People with FAS can have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, or hearing. They might have a mix of these problems.

Which is the likely developmental error that occurs as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome?

Due to disruption of normal brain development, individuals with FASD may have a range of neurobehavioral deficits including impairments in attention, reaction time, visuospatial abilities, executive functions, motor skills, memory, language, and social and adaptive functions, and reduced IQ (Riley and McGee, 2005).

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How does fetal alcohol syndrome affect cognitive development?

Exposure to alcohol in utero is associated with cognitive impairment in various neuropsychological domains, including overall intellectual performance, executive function, learning and memory, language, visual-spatial ability, motor function, attention, and activity levels as well as behavioral problems including …

Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome a developmental disability?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and related disorders such as Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) are the most common form of developmental disability and birth defects in the western world.

Does fetal alcohol syndrome get worse with age?

What are the most common symptoms of FASD? Only a small percentage of affected individuals have the set of facial features—which includes small eye openings, thin upper lip, and flat philtrum (groove under nose)—and growth delays that are most associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Both can diminish with age.

What is the life expectancy of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome?

Results: The life expectancy at birth of people with FAS was 34 years (95% confidence interval: 31 to 37 years), which was about 42% of that of the general population.

Can the brain recover from fetal alcohol syndrome?

There’s no cure or specific treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome. The physical defects and mental deficiencies typically persist for a lifetime. However, early intervention services may help reduce some of the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and may prevent some secondary disabilities.

Can a brain scan show FASD?

Sophisticated brain imaging technologies are now being used to identify the structural abnormalities present in the brains of living FASD children. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has revealed an overall reduction in brain size, confirming previous autopsy findings.

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How does FAS affect a child socially?

Adolescents and adults with FAS or fetal alcohol effects (FAE; mean age 17 years) show unresponsiveness to social cues, lack of reciprocal friendships, lack of tact, and difficulty in cooperating with peers, as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behavioral Scale [39,65].

What physical abnormalities are present in a child with fetal alcohol syndrome?

Physical defects may include: Distinctive facial features, including small eyes, an exceptionally thin upper lip, a short, upturned nose, and a smooth skin surface between the nose and upper lip. Deformities of joints, limbs and fingers. Slow physical growth before and after birth.

What does fetal alcohol syndrome do to the brain?

It slows down the reproduction of neural stem cells, which drive the development of the fetal brain. And even when neural stem cells are still able to reproduce, alcohol interferes with their migration to the proper part of the brain, further disrupting brain development.

What is partial fetal alcohol syndrome?

Partial fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS)

When a person does not meet the full diagnostic criteria for FAS but has a history of prenatal alcohol exposure and some of the facial abnormalities, as well as a growth problem or CNS abnormalities that person is considered to have partial FAS (pFAS).

What are the 3 types of FASDs?

There are three types of FASDs: fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).

How do they test for fetal alcohol syndrome?

To diagnose fetal alcohol syndrome, doctors look for unusual facial features, lower-than-average height and weight, small head size, problems with attention and hyperactivity, and poor coordination. They also try to find out whether the mother drank while they were pregnant and if so, how much.

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What type of disability is FASD?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body of people who were exposed to alcohol in the womb. Each person with FASD has both strengths and challenges and will need special supports to help them succeed with many different parts of their daily lives.

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