Author: Gary Jackson

Prenatal maternal alcohol exposure: diagnosis and prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome PMC

Although there is no treatment for FAS, there are strategies that can improve its symptoms. If you are consuming alcohol and trying to become pregnant or you are currently pregnant, reach out to a healthcare provider for help quitting. Although FAS is an incurable lifelong condition that is underdiagnosed, treatment can improve its symptoms. This article will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of FAS in children and adults.

In 2019, CDC researchers found that 1 in 9 pregnant people drank alcohol in a 30-day period of time. Some research suggests that a pregnant person’s environment may also play a role. Living in stressful, isolated, or adverse conditions may increase the chance of FAS. The frequency, strength, and quantity of alcoholic drinks have an effect, as well as the timing of consumption.

What Are the Interventions or Treatments for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders?

If you’ve already consumed alcohol during pregnancy, it’s never too late to stop. Brain growth in the fetus takes place throughout pregnancy, so stopping alcohol consumption as soon as possible is always best. There isn’t a direct test for FAS and pregnant people may not give a complete history of all alcohol intake during pregnancy. The more alcohol you drink during pregnancy, the greater the chance of problems in your baby.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Often, having a stable and supportive home can help children with FAS avoid developing mental and emotional difficulties as they get older. Fetal alcohol syndrome isn’t curable, and the symptoms will impact your child throughout life. However, early treatment of some symptoms can lessen the severity and improve your child’s development. Alcohol is a teratogen, which means that it is toxic to developing babies. Teratogens can interfere with a fetus’s growth and development, particularly that of the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord.

Prenatal maternal alcohol exposure: diagnosis and prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome

However, cohort studies that use past medical databases have systematic errors, such as selection bias, information bias (misclassification), and confounding factors [46]. Moreover, morphological evaluation for the diagnosis of FAS has limitations such as racial differences [11]. Questionnaires are also primarily used to obtain information on pregnant women about alcohol consumption before or during pregnancy. However, this estimate of alcohol use using questionnaires is often underreported because pregnant women are concerned about social stigma [31,47].