Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Problems may include an abnormal appearance, short height, low body weight, small head, poor coordination, low intelligence, behavior problems, and problems with hearing or seeing. Those affected more commonly have trouble in school, have trouble with law enforcement, are frequently jailed, are involved in high risk sexual activity, and have trouble with alcohol or other drugs. The most severe form of the condition is known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Other types including partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Surveys from the United States, have found about 10% of pregnant women have drunk in the last month and 20% to 30% drank at some point during the pregnancy. About 4% of women who are pregnant have alcohol use disorder. The risk of problems depends on the amount, frequency, and when during pregnancy alcohol is consumed. Other risk factors include an older mother, smoking, and a mother who has poor nutrition. There is no known safe amount or safe time to drink during pregnancy. While small amounts of alcohol do not cause an abnormal appearance it may cause behavioral issues. Alcohol crosses the blood brain barrier and both directly and indirectly affects a developing baby. Diagnosis is based on a person's signs and symptoms.Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are preventable by avoiding alcohol. Medical organizations recommend no alcohol during pregnancy for this reason. While the condition is permanent, treatment can improve outcomes. This may include parent-child interaction therapy, efforts to modify behavior, and possibly medications.FASD is estimated to affect between 2% and 5% of people in the United States and Western Europe. FAS is believed to occur in between 0.2 and 9 per 1000 live births in the United States. In South Africa, some populations have rates as high as 9%. The negative effects of alcohol have been described since ancient times. The lifetime cost of an individual with FAS were estimated to be two million USD in 2002. The term fetal alcohol syndrome was first used in 1973.