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            Best Paper Award :
Dr. Muhammad Baqir MR Fakhrildin
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Abstract

AN OVERVIEW OF FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS

Merlin Thomas*, Tintu Babu and Bincy Varghese

ABSTRACT

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can leads to foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in their children. FASD is characterized by typical facial features, growth retardation, intellectual dysfunction and behavioural problems. Alcohol is neurotoxic to the brain during the developmental stage. Behavioural problems in children with FASD start at an early age and progress to adulthood. It is an important preventable cause of intellectual dysfunction and behavioural problems. This article reviews current prevalence, clinical features, pathogenesis and differential diagnosis of FASD. It also highlights the need for physicians to be aware of this condition. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to a spectrum of deficits. Though physical features are essential to make the diagnosis of FAS, it is important to note that neurocognitive and behavioural deficits can be present in the absence of physical features (alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorder or ARND). Because there is no known safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, abstinence from alcohol for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy must be strongly advised.

Keywords: Alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorder, Foetal alcohol syndrome, growth retardation, intellectual dysfunction.


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