Sunday, June 12, 2011

FASD News - 23/2011

WHO - Fetal alcohol syndrome: dashed hopes, damaged lives
Since the term was coined about 40 years ago, fetal alcohol syndrome has slowly become recognized as a public health issue. Alicestine October reports from South Africa’s Western Cape province, which has the highest reported rate in the world.
Sun-Sentinel (USA) - Little boy lost: Family struggles to help heal troubled adopted son
Unable to conceive, Patrick LoBrutto and Mary Greene chose to fill out their family the same way 12,000 Americans do each year by adopting a child from a foreign country. It's a dicey proposition, to be sure, especially when choosing a country like Russia, where the orphanages are filled with abused and neglected children.
Vancouver Sun (Canada) - University professor adapting popular video games to treat FASD
Chris Bertram spends his days playing around with video games, all in the name of science. The University of the Fraser Valley professor is working with computer scientists and other research institutions across the country, including the University of B.C. and the University of Victoria, in adapting popular video games they believe have benefits for treating Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, also known as FASD.
BBC (UK) - Drinks firm Diageo funds pregnancy health initiative
Drinks retailer Diageo is to pay for 10,000 midwives in England and Wales to be trained to offer advice on the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy.
The Independent (UK) - Critics line up as alcohol giant funds health campaign
Charities and Labour health spokespeople opposed the plan, labelling it a "smokescreen" and accusing the Conservatives of allowing corporations further influence on public health policy. Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, which refused to sign the responsibility deal, said: "It is deeply worrying that alcohol education is being paid for by the drinks industry, as it is then unaccountable and not necessarily based on evidence or public health guidance." (South Africa) - Nearly 50 000 school girls fall pregnant in one year
Unemployment, teenage pregnancy, crime, and drug and alcohol abuse all affect South Africa’s youth. Family breakdown, and the absence of fathers in particular, may contribute to these social ills.
Centre for Public Health (UK) - Report: Contributions of Alcohol Use to Teenage Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infection Rates
A report from the Centre for Public Health found expected higher alcohol related hosptial admissions amongst areas with higher teenage pregancy and STI rates.
Marin Institute - The New Spirits "Thin-dustry"
In an attempt to find yet another way to target the young female demographic, spirits producers have sprung new lines of premixed drinks designed and marketed to associate drinking their products with weight loss.

Medical News Today - New DrugScope Book Will Help Professionals Support Women During Pregnancy, UK
The latest in DrugScope's series of resource books for professionals, The Essential Guide to Problem Substance Use During Pregnancy, is now on sale. This unique text is the go-to reference guide for all practitioners who provide care to women who use drugs or alcohol before, during and after their pregnancy.
Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder FASD: Who is responsible?
The perfect complementation to "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder" this title for the first time gives a complete overview of prevention strategies of FADS and their effectiveness on a global scale. A real Must-Have for everyone involved in decisions about FADS prevention measures.

BMC Pediatrics - A survey of Italian and Spanish neonatologists and paediatricians regarding awareness of the diagnosis of FAS and FASD and maternal ethanol use during pregnancy
Italian and Spanish neonatologists and paediatricians do not feel confident about diagnosing FAS and FASD. More training is needed in order to accurately diagnose ethanol use during pregnancy and correctly inform pregnant women on the consequences on the newborn.
Alcoholism - Effects of Early Postnatal Exposure to Ethanol on Retinal Ganglion Cell Morphology and Numbers of Neurons in the Dorsolateral Geniculate in Mice
Early postnatal ethanol exposure affects development of the visual system, reducing the numbers of neurons in the ganglion cell layer and in the dLGN, and altering RGCs’ morphology.
Alcoholism - Local and Regional Network Function in Behaviorally Relevant Cortical Circuits of Adult Mice Following Postnatal Alcohol Exposure
P7 ethanol induces an immediate wave of regionally selective cell death followed by long-lasting changes in local circuit and regional network function that are accompanied by changes in neurobehavioral performance. The results suggest that both the activity of local neural circuits within a brain region and the flow of information between brain regions can be modified by early alcohol exposure, which may contribute to long-lasting behavioral abnormalities known to rely on those circuits.
Alcohol Journal - Maternal effects on ethanol teratogenesis in a cross between A/J and C57BL/6J mice
This study supports the idea that genes influence malformation risk following in utero alcohol exposure. Specifically, maternal genes influence risk more than fetal genes for some teratogenic outcomes. No evidence supported synergistic genetic effects on ethanol teratogenesis. This research supports the conclusion that uterine environment contributes to determining risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Birth Defect Research - Associations between periconceptional alcohol consumption and craniosynostosis, omphalocele, and gastroschisis
Results suggest that maternal periconceptional alcohol consumption is associated with omphalocele and gastroschisis, and second and third trimester alcohol consumption are inversely associated with craniosynostosis.
Birth Defect Research - Calcium-mediated repression of β-catenin and its transcriptional signaling mediates neural crest cell death in an avian model of fetal alcohol syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a common birth defect in many societies. Affected individuals have neurodevelopmental disabilities and a distinctive craniofacial dysmorphology. These latter deficits originate during early development from the ethanol-mediated apoptotic depletion of cranial facial progenitors, a population known as the neural crest.
Birth Defect Research - Maternal alcohol drinking pattern during pregnancy and the risk for an offspring with an isolated congenital heart defect and in particular a ventricular septal defect or an atrial septal defect
Prenatal exposure to low-to-moderate levels of alcohol on a weekly basis or occasional binge drinking during the early part of pregnancy was not statistical significantly associated with the prevalence of isolated VSD and ASD in offspring.
Alcohol Journal - Proceedings of the 2009 annual meeting of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group
The annual meeting of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group (FASDSG) was held on June 20, 2009 in San Diego, CA, as a satellite of the Research Society on Alcoholism Meeting. The FASDSG membership includes clinical, basic, and social scientists who meet to discuss recent advances and issues in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders research. The main theme of the meeting was “Epigenetics and Development.”

In other languages
NanoPress (Italy) - L’alcool in gravidanza è vietato, fa male al bambino
Abbiamo parlato tante volte dell’assunzione di alcool in gravidanza ma evidentemente c’è ancora tanto da lavorare, perchè questo concetto non è arrivato chiaro e forte alle future neo mamme.

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