Prenatal alcohol exposure can lead to a wide range of adverse effects on a developing fetus. As a whole, these teratogenic outcomes are generally known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, the most severe of which is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Clinically, children diagnosed with FAS vary greatly in their presentation of symptoms, likely due to the amount of alcohol and timing of exposure, as well as maternal and genetic influences. All these factors play a role in determining the mechanisms through which alcohol damages a developing brain, the details of which are still largely unknown. However, continuing research and recent developments have provided promising results that may lead to screening mechanisms and treatment therapies for children with FAS. Here we review the teratogenic effects of alcohol, strategies for detecting maternal alcohol consumption, identification of fetal biological markers, and prevention methods for FAS.
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- Fetal alcohol syndrome
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
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G. Ian Gallicano, Georgetown University Medical Center
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology
3900 Reservoir Road, NW, Medical Dental Building, Room NE205
Washington, DC 20057 (USA)
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Received: October 6, 2009
Accepted after revision: April 6, 2010
Published online: June 16, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 10
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 72
Vol. 32, No. 2, Year 2010 (Cover Date: July 2010)
Journal Editor: Levison S.W. (Newark, N.J.)
ISSN: 0378-5866 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9859 (Online)
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