Sunday, May 29, 2011

FASD News - 21/2011

The Globe and Mail (Canada) - Rewiring the brains of children with fetal alcohol syndrome
His brain was damaged by the alcohol his birth mother drank when he was in the womb. But a 12-week program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has helped him learn to better understand and regulate his emotions.
Huffington Post - Alcohol During Pregnancy: More Dangerous Than We Can 'Know'
As a social worker who has worked in the area of child welfare and cofounded Coalition for Alcohol & Drug Free Pregnancies (CADFP) in Santa Clara County, CA, I have been dismayed by the popular press articles, including a recent one on the Huffington Post that minimize the need for alcohol abstinence during pregnancy.
Mirror.co.uk (Ireland) - Pregnant? Don’t drink – it’s just not worth it
Despite all the research recently published that has reassured women they can have a glass of wine now and then during pregnancy, I have stood firm in my belief that it’s wrong to drink at all when carrying a baby.
bclocalnews.com - UNFAIR BURDEN: the invisible, pervasive condition caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol
A child climbs a tree and tumbles four metres to the ground. For a typical kid, the impact upon hitting the ground would be enough to teach them not to attempt the climb again. But for a child with adaptive functioning issues, one of the hallmarks of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, learning from mistakes is easier said than done.
New research into fetal alcohol spectrum disorder offers hope
Regular exercise can help repair brain damage caused by drinking – including in children exposed to alcohol before they were born. “If you exercise, even in adulthood ... that tends to lead to the production of more new cells in the brain and you tend to have an increase in cognitive capacity,” said Brian Christie, senior scholar and associate professor in the division of medical sciences at the University of Victoria.
PhysOrg.com - Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders have less deep-gray brain matter
Children and youth who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders have less deep-gray matter in their brains compared to children who don’t have the condition, according to a collaborative study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Alberta. This difference affects the way messages are relayed in the brain.
Irish Medical Times (Ireland) - Coombe set to spearhead FAS alcohol intake project
A study has commenced in the Coombe Women’s Hospital aimed at screening women for alcohol intake in pregnancy with a view to counselling.
psychologytoday.com/blog - FAS: Is it a government plot?
I was in Nevada this last week, working with obstetricians on strategies for identifying pregnant women who are drinking alcohol.  All was going well until I met up with a physician who would have no part of the conversation.  Like other skeptics I've met through the years, he was vehement in his protests that there is not any research to prove that no amount of alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy.
Telegraph (UK) - Glass or two of wine a week 'could damage baby'
Pregnant women who drink as little as a glass of wine a week could be putting their babies at risk, according to new research which contracts recent studies indicating that an occasional tipple is harmless.

RESOURCES and MATERIALS
CAPHC - FASD Webinar- FASD: An In-depth Overview and National Dialogue with the Experts
In partnership with many FASD experts, researchers, and organizations, the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) has facilitated the development of the National Screening Tool Kit for Children and Youth Identified and Potentially Affected by FASD. The upcoming Webinar series will introduce participants to the components of the Tool Kit, as well as engage them in an interactive dialogue with content experts from across Canada.
Foster Parent Webcast Archive available on YouTube
The Washington State Department of Social Services and the Foster Parent Training Institute has a series of videos intended for foster parents on FASD.
New FASD resources from the Asante Centre
Minga Marketplace is The Asante Centre’s on-line FASD Resource Store. Resources include books, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and FASD awareness gifts and promotions.
FASD: A Practical Guide For Employers
NAT member Narine Margaryan, FASD Service Coordinator, of the Yellowknife Association for Community Living  has created a manual entitled FASD: A Practical Guide For Employers to educate businesses about FASD and ways they can accommodate employees with the disorder.
CDC - The Story Of Iyal
This video tells the story of one family living with FASDs. Every family has unique experiences, challenges, and successes. The intent of this video is not to endorse specific interventions, but to share one family’s story and hope.

RESEARCH
Alcoholism - Alcohol and Maternal Uterine Vascular Adaptations During Pregnancy—Part I: Effects of Chronic In Vitro Binge-Like Alcohol on Uterine Endothelial Nitric Oxide System and Function
The maternal uterine vasculature during pregnancy may be vulnerable to chronic binge-like alcohol. Altered eNOS multisite phosphorylation also suggests that alcohol produces specific effects at the level of posttranslational modifications critical for pregnancy-induced uterine vascular adaptations. Finally, the alcohol and estradiol-17β data suggest a negative impact of alcohol on estrogen actions on the uterine vasculature.
Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy Among Women in Israel
Alcohol consumption is frequent among pregnant women in Israel, especially young secular Jewish women with first pregnancies. Improved educational programs on the dangers of FASD are needed for both professionals and the general public.
Science Direct - Maternal voluntary drinking in C57BL/6J mice: Advancing a model for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
These results suggest that this model is able to produce a range of behavioural phenotypes consistent with prenatal ethanol exposure and may be used to evaluate resulting long-term genetic changes. Given the range of genetic resources available for inbred mouse strains, the model described here may prove to be a useful tool in evaluating the molecular basis of FASD.
Extensive Deep Gray Matter Volume Reductions in Children and Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
The link between the numerous cognitive, motor, and behavioral difficulties of individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and underlying specific structural brain injuries can be investigated using high-resolution imaging. Differential sensitivity of the brain’s “relay” stations, namely the deep gray matter structures, may play a key factor given their multifaceted role in brain function.
Ethanol-Induced Microphthalmia is Not Mediated by Changes in Retinoic Acid or Sonic Hedgehog Signaling During Retinal Neurogenesis
Together these findings indicate that, during the time of retinal neurogenesis, effects of ethanol on eye development are likely independent of the RA and Shh signaling pathways. These studies suggest that FASD intervention strategies based upon augmentation of RA or Shh signaling may not prevent ethanol-induced microphthalmia.
Commentary: Will Analyzing the Epigenome Yield Cohesive Principles of Ethanol Teratology?
This manuscript presents several interesting and novel pieces of data and raises important questions for future research. The implications of these data for our understanding of the etiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are discussed.
Association of Moderate Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking During Pregnancy with Neonatal Health
Heavy drinking and smoking during pregnancy are known to have a negative impact on the unborn child. However, the impact of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking has been debated recently. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of moderate prenatal drinking and binge drinking with birthweight, being small for gestational age (SGA) at birth, preterm birth, and neonatal asphyxia.

IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Online News (Italy) – In aumento l’abuso di alcol tra gli anziani: «Sono lasciati soli»
L’abuso di alcol e le malattie correlate al centro del convegno internazionale “Alcohol across the lifespan: what Physicians, Psychologist and Nurses need to know”, che si è tenuto il 9 e 10 maggio presso il CNR, a Roma. Medici di medicina generale, infermieri e psicologi hanno preso parte all’iniziativa, promossa dal Centro di Riferimento Alcologico della Regione Lazio con la prestigiosa partecipazione del NIAAA, l’Istituto nazionale americano sull’alcolismo.
ZWD (Germany) - Alkoholismus unter Frauen und Mädchen besorgniserregend hoch
Etwa 370.000 Frauen in Deutschland sind alkoholabhängig. Dies teilte die Drogenbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Mechthild Dyckmans (FDP) bei der Vorstellung des Drogen- und Suchtberichts 2011 am 17. Mai in Berlin mit.

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