ODT: Drinking in pregnancy a worry

John Gibb writes in the Otago Daily Times about a recent talk in Dunedin by Dr Ruth Napper about the effects of prenatal binge drinking on the development of a child.

In addition to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which is defined by a strict set of parameters, researchers have also found a larger group of children who lack some of the more obvious signs of FAS, but nonetheless show the brain damage associated with the condition.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Her own research with animal models had shown that significant death of fetal neurons could result from a single drinking bout.

“”I was absolutely blown away by the number of dead cells I could see,” she said.

“In some cases, teachers who wondered why their pupils were having trouble performing certain learning tasks could be encountering the effects of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.”