The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2008 / Article

Review | Open Access

Volume 8 |Article ID 748134 | https://doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2008.75

Kelly Nash, Erin Sheard, Joanne Rovet, Gideon Koren, "Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs): Toward Identification of a Behavioral Phenotype", The Scientific World Journal, vol. 8, Article ID 748134, 10 pages, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2008.75

Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs): Toward Identification of a Behavioral Phenotype

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick
Received20 Mar 2008
Revised12 Apr 2008
Accepted18 Apr 2008

Abstract

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) currently represent the leading cause of mental retardation in North America, ahead of Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. The damaging effects of alcohol on the developing brain have a cascading impact on the social and neurocognitive profiles of affected individuals. Researchers investigating the profiles of children with FASDs have found impairments in learning and memory, executive functioning, and language, as well as hyperactivity, impulsivity, poor communication skills, difficulties with social and moral reasoning, and psychopathology. The primary goal of this review paper is to examine current issues pertaining to the identification of a behavioral phenotype in FASDs, as well as to address related screening and diagnostic concerns. We conclude that future research initiatives comparing children with FASDs to nonalcohol-exposed children with similar cognitive and socioemotional profiles should aid in uncovering the unique behavioral phenotype for FASDs.


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