Posts Tagged ‘ fetal alcohol syndrome ’

Adopted, Foster Kids More Likely to Have Fetal Alcohol Disorders

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Children who are adopted or who are in the foster care system have a heightened rate of fetal alcohol syndrome and other emotional and physical conditions that are associated with prenatal exposure to alcohol, according to a new review of more than 30 studies conducted in America and Russia.  More from Reuters:

Among those children, researchers found that rates of alcohol-related problems – which can include deformities, mental retardation and learning disabilities – were anywhere from nine to 60 times higher than in the general population.

“It’s increasingly well recognized that this is a very high-risk population and one that we should really be paying attention to,” Phil Fisher, a psychologist who studies foster and adopted children at the University of Oregon in Eugene, said.

“We know that one of the main reasons that kids end up in foster care or being made eligible for adoption is because their parents have substance abuse problems,” added Fisher, who wasn’t involved in the new research.

Image: Pregnant woman holding wine glass, via Shutterstock

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Found to Have Years-Long Impact

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Babies who are born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, often referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome, suffer brain development delays well into their childhood and even into adolescence, not only at birth and in young infanthood, according to a new research from the University of Alberta.  More from ScienceDaily:

Researchers used an advanced MRI method that examines white matter in the brain. White matter forms connections between various regions of the brain and usually develops significantly during childhood and adolescence. Those who took part in the study were imaged multiple times, to see what kinds of changes occurred in brain development as the participants aged. Those without the disorder had marked increases in brain volume and white matter — growth that was lacking in those with FASD. However, the advanced MRI method revealed greater changes in the brain wiring of white matter in the FASD group, which the authors suggest may reflect compensation for delays in development earlier in childhood.

“These findings may suggest that significant brain changes happened earlier in the study participants who didn’t have FASD,” says the study’s first author, Sarah Treit, who is a student in the Centre for Neuroscience at the U of A. “This study suggests alcohol-induced injury with FASD isn’t static — those with FASD have altered brain development, they aren’t developing at the same rate as those without the disorder. And our research showed those with FASD consistently scored lower on all cognitive measures in the study.”

Treit said the research team also made other important observations. Children with FASD who demonstrated the greatest changes in white matter development also made the greatest gains in reading ability — “so the connection seems relevant.” And those with the most severe FASD showed the greatest changes in white matter brain wiring. Scans also confirmed those with FASD have less overall brain volume — this issue neither rectified itself nor worsened throughout the course of the study.

Image: Pregnant woman drinking alcohol, via Shutterstock

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