Standard Article

Alcohol and Pregnancy and the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

  1. Ann P Streissguth1,
  2. Daniel J Bonthius2

Published Online: 27 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0002251

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Streissguth, A. P. and Bonthius, D. J. 2006. Alcohol and Pregnancy and the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA

  2. 2

    University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2006

Abstract

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a specific pattern of birth defects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure; the term fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) includes the broad range of offspring effects caused by in utero alcohol exposure. Alcohol is a teratogenic drug to which the developing brain is particularly vulnerable; thus, many alcohol-exposed people, even without FAS, can have alcohol-induced neurodevelopmental sequelae, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the dose, timing and conditions of exposure.

Keywords:

  • fetal alcohol syndrome;
  • fetal alcohol effects;
  • birth defects;
  • developmental disabilities;
  • pregnancy outcome;
  • alcohol