Although the brain is the developing structure most sensitive to alcohol, the diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS), which represents the most severe end of the spectrum of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), is presently dependent, not upon alterations of brain structure or behavior, but upon features identified on a careful physical examination. Over the previous funding periods the Dysmorphology Core has evaluated 345 subjects with FAS, 771 who have been Deferred and 502 with NO FAS at consortium sites throughout the world.
The specific aims of this proposal are to continue to support these activities throughout the renewal period at all consortium sites, to develop a training DVD that could be used to teach physicians and other health care professionals with little or no experience in diagnosis of FASD to successfully diagnose or rule out this disorder, to develop with the help of the Telemedicine Communications Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), a wireless, interactive, audiovisual tele-consultation system that will provide the opportunity for a practitioner in a remote area to perform a comprehensive examination of a child considered to have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) that could be simultaneously viewed, by an expert dysmorphologist at UCSD, and to document the prevalence of major malformations in children prenatally exposed to alcohol, and in so doing, delineate the extent of Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD). Furthermore, the development of a training DVD to teach physicians and other health care providers an approach to diagnosis of FASD will help fill the gap in access to expert diagnosticians. Finally, given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with major structural defects, a rigorous evaluation for Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD) will give important information regarding the need to screen children for these defects based on having been exposed prenatally to alcohol.

Public Health Relevance

Relative to the relevance of this research to public health, through collaboration with other CIFASD projects, we will to delineate the full spectrum of defects that are associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Only by accomplishing this will it be possible to determine the true incidence of problems that alcohol imposes on the developing human fetus, a requirement for developing and carrying out programs to prevent it.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Resource-Related Research Projects--Cooperative Agreements (U24)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-CC (02))
Program Officer
Dunty, Jr, William
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
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Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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Doyle, Lauren R; Moore, Eileen M; Coles, Claire D et al. (2018) Executive Functioning Correlates With Communication Ability in Youth With Histories of Heavy Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 24:1026-1037
Suttie, Michael; Wozniak, Jeffrey R; Parnell, Scott E et al. (2018) Combined Face-Brain Morphology and Associated Neurocognitive Correlates in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 42:1769-1782
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Wozniak, Jeffrey R; Mueller, Bryon A; Mattson, Sarah N et al. (2017) Functional connectivity abnormalities and associated cognitive deficits in fetal alcohol Spectrum disorders (FASD). Brain Imaging Behav 11:1432-1445
Hendrickson, Timothy J; Mueller, Bryon A; Sowell, Elizabeth R et al. (2017) Cortical gyrification is abnormal in children with prenatal alcohol exposure. Neuroimage Clin 15:391-400
Glass, Leila; Moore, Eileen M; Akshoomoff, Natacha et al. (2017) Academic Difficulties in Children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Presence, Profile, and Neural Correlates. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 41:1024-1034
Suttie, Michael; Wetherill, Leah; Jacobson, Sandra W et al. (2017) Facial Curvature Detects and Explicates Ethnic Differences in Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 41:1471-1483
Woods, Keri J; Jacobson, Sandra W; Molteno, Christopher D et al. (2017) Altered Parietal Activation during Non-symbolic Number Comparison in Children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Front Hum Neurosci 11:627

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