Effect of alcohol consumption in prenatal life, childhood, and adolescence on child development


D Gregori, Laboratories of Epidemiological Methods and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Via Loredan 18, 35121 Padova, Italy. E-mail: dario.gregori@unipd.it, Phone: +39-049-8275384, Fax: +39-02-700445089.


The effects of alcohol consumption in adults are well described in the literature, while knowledge about the effects of alcohol consumption in children is more limited and less systematic. The present review shows how alcohol consumption may negatively influence the neurobiological and neurobehavioral development of humans. Three different periods of life have been considered: the prenatal term, childhood, and adolescence. For each period, evidence of the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol consumption, including neurodevelopmental effects and associations with subsequent alcohol abuse or dependence, is presented.