Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Figure 3. Comparison: 6 Week Old Baby healthy brain and 6 Week Old Baby Fetal
Alcohol Syndrome Brain.
Source: faslink.org
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a disorder that can occur to the embryo when a
pregnant woman ingests alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol crosses the placental
barrier and can stunt fetal growth or weight, create distinctive facial stigmata, damage
neurons and brain structures, and cause other physical, mental, or behavioral problems.
The main effect of FAS is permanent central nervous system damage, especially to
the brain. Developing brain cells and structures are underdeveloped or malformed by
prenatal alcohol exposure, often creating an array of primary cognitive and functional
disabilities (including poor memory, attention deficits, impulsive behavior, and poor
cause-effect reasoning) as well as secondary disabilities (for example, mental health
problems, and drug addiction).
The risk of brain damage exists during each trimester, since the fetal brain develops
throughout the entire pregnancy.
"Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." Faslink. Web. 30 Sept. 2009.