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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Research Paper

  • Submitted by: heyjude1
  • on March 18, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,693 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Research Paper" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Research Paper

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) refers to a group of physical and mental birth defects resulting from a women's drinking alcohol heavily or at crucial stages during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was first named and treated in the late 1960's. This condition results from the toxic effect of alcohol and its chemical factors on the developing fetus. FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation occurring in 1 out of every 750 births. The frequency of FAS occurs about 1.9 times out of every 1000 births according to the latest figures, and minor effects can be seen in up to 20% of pregnancies per year. This number changes drastically for women who are clearly alcoholics. As high as 29 children out of every 1000 births will suffer from FAS if the mother is an alcoholic. The overwhelming consistency of this disease is that it is 100% preventable if a mother would drink no alcohol while pregnant.

There are three major effects or hallmarks of drinking while pregnant. First, alcohol will cause pre- and postnatal growth retardation for the baby. Second, alcohol can cause central nervous system dysfunction and neurodevelopmental defects for the child. The third consequence of drinking while pregnant causes facial disformaties. Studies comparing children of women who drank continually throughout their pregnancy with women who abstained from drinking that alcohol exposed offspring were smaller in weight, length, and head circumference. The greatest effect of FAS appears to be the overall size of an alcohol-exposed child. Children exposed prenatally to alcohol continue to be smaller than their non-exposed peers. A study has shown that there is a relationship between alcohol exposure during the second and third trimesters and growth at 8 months, 18 months, and 3years of age. Children exposed to an average of one drink per day or more during the second or third trimester were significantly smaller in weight, length, and head...

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