Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Birth Defect

In The US: 5,000-12,000 annually

Also Called:
Fetal Alcohol Abuse Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

American Academy of Pediatrics

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence



Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of the leading causes of birth defects and is considered to be the most common cause of preventable mental retardation. FAS is characterized by a group of birth defects that result from a woman’s use of alcohol during pregnancy. The syndrome is present at birth, though it can be detected earlier. Children with FAS typically have characteristic facial abnormalities. They may have heart abnormalities, grow less quickly than other children and have problems with their central nervous systems resulting in mental retardation, hyperactivity, delayed development of both gross and fine motor skills, learning problems, and seizures. Other manifestations in the brain, especially the frontal lobe, can cause poor judgement, organization, and problem solving abilities, distractibility, and impulsiveness. These problems can in turn lead to behavioral issues in school and with the law, drug abuse, and difficulty living independently. There is also an increased likelihood of attention deficit disorder, conduct disorder, depression, and psychosis. Though people born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can live full, productive lives, the syndrome is 100% preventable and expecting mothers should always avoid alcohol when pregnant and nursing.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome In The News

Fetal Alcohol Disorders Up to 10 Times More Common Than Believed

Read More    published: 02/06/2018

Blood Test May Help Identify Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Read More    published: 11/08/2016

Today's Letters: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Nursing Care and Police Stops

Read More    published: 10/31/2016

This Mother Drank While Pregnant. Here’s What Her Daughter’s Like at 43

Read More    published: 01/18/2016

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