This project will focus on several of the specific research areas targeted in the Request for Application (RFA) including: a) improvements in the diagnosis of FASD, b) enhanced understanding of FASD dysmorphology through 2-D and 3-D image analysis, and c) earlier case identification. We will work collaboratively with each of the clinical projects recruiting the subjects from whom we will obtain facial images. In addition, we will compare results with the two basic science projects that are focusing on the use of animal models. Lastly, we will rely on the two cores for subject evaluation (Dysmorphology) and data management (Bioinformatics). Throughout this application and within the Consortium - there is a strong focus on novel methods to better understand and recognize the spectrum of deficits resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. Furthermore, replication of results is a key component of our study design. We seek not only to replicate key findings within the same research population - but to also extend the results to other populations of differing ethnicity and diversiy. Such worldwide replication is only possible through an international consortium like CIFASD. Results from this study will then be used as the basis for new screening tools that can be used by clinicians. To accomplish our goals, we propose the following specific aims: 1) Develop a screening tool that will utilize the data from the 3D facial images and support accurate identification of individuals with a high likelihood of alcohol exposure. 2) Recruit and analyze facial imaging data from very young populations to develop a screening tool that accurately identifies high risk individuals for future intervention. 3) Combine face images, neurobehavioral data and brain images to identify common pathways and hence improve diagnosis of prenatal alcohol exposure. 4) Extend existing and develop novel techniques and associated software to cope with demands of larger datasets and more diverse comparison of controls, alcohol exposed and other developmentally delayed subjects while accommodating multiple anatomical images per subject 5) Extend preliminary genetic studies through collection of DNA samples for new subjects and focused analysis to replicate candidate genes identified in basic science components.
The goal of this project and the Consortium as a whole is to develop new methods to better understand and recognize the spectrum of deficits that result from prenatal alcohol exposure. This project is focused on the use of facial images as the primary approach to this question. We will use facial images to improve the diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and also develop methods to identify these children at very early ages - so as to allow early intervention to improve outcome.
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