Alcohol Research

Journal covering alcohol research.

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 1, 2011

Behavioral Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Exposure to alcohol in utero is considered to be a leading cause of developmental disabilities of known causation. The most severe consequence of such exposure, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), is characterized by a distinct constellation of facial anomalies,...
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Combination Drug Use and Risk for Fetal Harm
Alcohol and other drugs are frequently used in combination (Martin 2008; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 2008). Based on data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, Falk and colleagues (2006, 2008)...
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Discriminating the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure from Other Behavioral and Learning Disorders
Fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are underdiagnosed in general treatment settings. Among the factors involved in identifying the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure are (1) the evidence for prenatal alcohol exposure; (2) the...
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Experimental Tasks Used to Study the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
Progressive Planning Tasks are used to evaluate the ability to plan a series of actions. In the test used by Kodituwakku and colleagues (1995), children are presented with a 3peg board with movable colored beads. The children are given a picture showing...
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Experimental Treatments and Strategies for Intervention
Despite the known damaging effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, women continue to drink during pregnancy, creating a need for effective interventions and treatments for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Experimental models can be useful in identifying...
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Research Challenges and Opportunities
The adverse effects of prenatal alcohol consumption have long been known; however, a formal description and clinical diagnosis of these effects was not introduced until 1973. Since then, the distinction of the wide range of effects that can be induced...
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Focus On: Biomarkers of Fetal Alcohol Exposure and Fetal Alcohol Effects
One of the ongoing challenges for the accurate diagnosis and treatment of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is the difficulty of confirming whether a mother drank during her pregnancy. Commonly used screening questionnaires often...
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Focus On: Epigenetics and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Epigenetic changes-stable but potentially reversible alterations in a cell's genetic information that result in changes in gene expression but do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequence-may mediate some of the detrimental effects of prenatal...
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Focus On: Magnetic Resonance-Based Studies of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Animal Models
The imaging techniques magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) provide valuable tools for studying brain structure and neurochemistry in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Although...
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Focus On: Neurotransmitter Systems
Neurotransmitter systems have been long recognized as important targets of the developmental actions of alcohol (i.e., ethanol). Short-and longterm effects of ethanol on amino acid (e.g., ?-aminobutyric acid and glutamate) and biogenic amine (e.g., serotonin...
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Focus On: Structural and Functional Brain Abnormalities in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Children exposed to alcohol prenatally can experience significant deficits in cognitive and psychosocial functioning as well as alterations in brain structure and function related to alcohol's teratogenic effects. These impairments are present both in...
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Focus On: The Use of Animal Models for the Study of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Considerable efforts to educate women not to abuse alcohol during pregnancy have failed to reduce the incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome. Therefore, other approaches to limit the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure are under consideration, including...
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Maternal Risk Factors for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Not as Simple as It Might Seem
Gathering information about drinking during pregnancy is one of the most difficult aspects of studying fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). This information is critical to linking specific risk factors to any particular diagnosis within the FASD...
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Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Preterm Delivery, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
In addition to fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with many other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. Research suggests that alcohol use during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage,...
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The Quest for a Neurobehavioral Profile of Heavy Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
The devastating consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) are well established, and, as a leading cause of intellectual disabilities (Pulsifer 1996), FAS has significant societal and public health implications. Importantly, FAS is associated with...
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Understanding the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Using Three-Dimensional Facial Imaging
One of the (at least theoretically) most easily detectable features of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is a distinct pattern of facial characteristics. However, in many children prenatally exposed to alcohol,...
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