This work has been supported in part by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grants AA06571 and AA03282 and AA06334 (to R.J.S.), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant HD 14883, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation Grant 12–69 (to C.B.E.), and the Perinatal Clinical Research Center at Metro-Health Medical Center Grant M01RR00210. Portions of this work were presented at the Conference of the Research Society on Alcoholism, 1991. This study was conducted at the MetroHealth Medical Center (Cleveland, OH).
Neonatal Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Not Necessarily a Hopeless Prognosis
Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 19, Issue 6, pages 1550–1557, December 1995
How to Cite
Ernhart, C. B., Greene, T., Sokol, R. J., Martier, S., Boyd, T. A. and Ager, J. (1995), Neonatal Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Not Necessarily a Hopeless Prognosis. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 19: 1550–1557. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1995.tb01023.x
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication December 12, 1994; accepted July 11, 1995
A neonatal examination for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) should promote the guidance of parents, the planning of remediation for affected children, and the collection of prevalence data. A blinded examination of FAS characteristics conducted as part of a large prospective study of disadvantaged alcohol-exposed infants identified eight neonates who met the published criteria for FAS. These children were followed through the preschool years with a blinded assessment protocol. Seven of these children were found to have no impairment in cognitive and language development, when compared with their peers, and to be of average size. The one child who was mentally and growth retarded at follow-up who had been diagnosed as FAS might not have been diagnosed FAS using clinical criteria (as opposed to blinded research criteria), because his mother provided in-pregnancy reports of only low alcohol intake; she later acknowledged drinking an average of over 21 drinks/week during the pregnancy. The findings are positive in that they provide hope for children who present FAS at birth, although concern with adverse outcomes is certainly not dispelled. In particular, the possibility of later-emerging impairment in more complex tasks is not ruled out.