Saturday, June 29, 2013

Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder





I attended the Research-to-Practice Seminar on the topic on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder a few days ago. Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM, Professor Paediatrics & Child Health, Children’s Hospital Westmead gave a wonderful overview of the research on this disorder.


                                                                     Elizabeth Elliott and Jack Dikian 2013

Given the level of alcohol related problems reported in the media in recent years Prof Elliott fittingly discussed aspects of FASD framed against a broader societal issues involving alcohol consumption.

Concerns have surrounded the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy since biblical times. However research and academic interest in the teratogenic effects of alcohol on the developing embryo is relatively recent. Since Jones first described Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the 1970s considerable interest and conflicting evidence have emerged in the areas of FAS and its less severe form, Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) or Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND).

The diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is based on a set of criteria comprised of abnormalities in three main categories: growth retardation, characteristic facial features, and central nervous system anomalies (including intellectual impairment). The intellectual impairment associated with FAS is permanent and FAS is now regarded as the leading, preventable cause of non- genetic intellectual handicap.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome A Literature Review - Prepared for the National Expert Advisory Committee on Alcohol By Colleen O’Leary can be found below:

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