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January 2011



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Article Date: 14 Dec 2010 – 2:00 PST

Elsevier Inc., the world’s leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information, announced that Alcohol has published a special year-end double issue on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). It fills an urgent need to bring the widest possible readership current perspectives on using new research methods to improve identification and diagnosis of offspring at risk for FASD and its associated brain damage and behavioral dysfunction.

Journal Editor-in-Chief Charles R. Goodlett said, “It has been nearly four decades since Kenneth Lyons Jones and David Smith published their landmark papers reporting their observation of a constellation of identifiable birth defects in infants of women who drank alcohol heavily during pregnancy. One might expect that, over several decades, some consensus about the basic elements of this neurodevelopmental disorder would have emerged, including the diagnostic features, the core cognitive and behavioral problems, and likely mechanisms of and potential interventions for abnormal brain development. In reality, there are more questions than answers …”

The Special Issue on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) features 15 articles covering emerging research on topics such as: new ways to identify pregnancies at risk for FASD using existing maternal self-report tools; the development of biomarker methods to help improve early identification and diagnosis of at-risk exposure to alcohol; the use of animal models to develop new diagnostic and intervention strategies; and a new framework to improve outcomes for children affected by prenatal alcohol-induced brain damage.

Also included will be three articles from the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD), a consortium of international researchers currently in the process of collecting the largest set of integrated clinical data on FASD ever compiled.

The online edition of Alcohol may be viewed via ScienceDirect and via Alcohol’s web site. The latter site includes two, free, selected articles namely “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: new perspectives on diagnosis and intervention” and “Effects of moderate drinking during pregnancy on placental gene expression.”

Sources: Elsevier, AlphaGalileo Foundation.  


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