Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders FASDs are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during her pregnancy. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are preventable by avoiding alcohol. FASDs encompass a range of physical and neurodevelopmental problems that can result from prenatal alcohol exposure. Some accept only FAS as a diagnosis, seeing the evidence as inconclusive with respect to other types. The key of FASD can vary between individuals exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. While consensus exists for the definition and diagnosis of FAS, minor variations among the systems lead to differences in definitions and diagnostic cut-off criteria for other diagnoses across the FASD continuum. The central nervous system damage criteria particularly lack clear consensus. A working knowledge of the key features is helpful in understanding FASD diagnoses and conditions, and each is reviewed with attention to similarities and differences across the four diagnostic systems. More than problems, however, can occur with FASD.
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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders FASDs is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual with prenatal alcohol exposure. The exact number of children who have an FASD is difficult to determine. Based on studies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others, it is estimated that in the United States, somewhere between and 8, babies could be born each year with fetal alcohol syndrome FAS. It describes people with the greatest alcohol effects, causing signs and symptoms so distinct that the diagnosis is based on special measurements and findings in each of the 3 following areas:. Three specific facial abnormalities: smooth philtrum the area between nose and upper lip , thin upper lip, small palpebral fissures the horizontal eye openings. Central nervous system CNS abnormalities structural, neurologic, functional, or a combination of these.
Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during the mother's pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome causes brain damage and growth problems. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are not reversible. There is no amount of alcohol that's known to be safe to consume during pregnancy. If you drink during pregnancy, you place your baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. If you suspect your child has fetal alcohol syndrome, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis may help to reduce problems such as learning difficulties and behavioral issues. The severity of fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms varies, with some children experiencing them to a far greater degree than others. Signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome may include any mix of physical defects, intellectual or cognitive disabilities, and problems functioning and coping with daily life. Physical defects may include: Distinctive facial features, including small eyes, an exceptionally thin upper lip, a short, upturned nose, and a smooth skin surface between the nose and upper lip Deformities of joints, limbs and fingers Slow physical growth before and after birth Vision difficulties or hearing problems Small head circumference and brain size Heart defects and problems with kidneys and bones Brain and central nervous system problems Problems with the brain and central nervous system may include:.
Ten percent of pregnant women in the United States reported having at least one alcoholic beverage during one month, according to a CDC survey published in Nearly 80 percent of the children in this study had some alcohol exposure as a fetus. Health care providers often look for three classic signs: small eyes, a thin upper lip, and a flat area above the upper lip where there are typically two vertical ridges. None of the children in this study had been diagnosed with a condition on the spectrum. Perhaps most notably, there seemed to be slight differences in the mid-face and at the tip of nose even in the children of women who had only had a little to drink and only in the first trimester of their pregnancy. The paper did have one important strength. There are a few important limitations to keep in mind. Republish this article. Interesting how a statistical negative study without showing correlation of clinical significance still comes to the conclusion that it confirms an unproven consensus not advocating that women should drink but commenting how we interpret data.