NIH Releases Improved Guidelines for Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

NIH Releases Improved Guidelines for Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
A group of experts on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), organized by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and has produced proposed clinical guidelines for diagnosing FASD, which can result when a mother drinks during pregnancy. The new guidelines clarify and expand upon widely used guidelines issued in 2005, which were the first to help clinicians distinguish among the four distinct subtypes of FASD described by the Institute of Medicine. The updated guidelines, developed over one year by a cadre of experts in the field, are based on analysis of 10,000 individuals involved in studies of prenatal alcohol exposure funded by NIAAA, part of the National Institutes of Health. The proposed guidelines include a new definition of documented prenatal alcohol exposure, guides to evaluating facial and physical deformities characteristic of FASD, and updated information about the cognitive and/or behavioral impairments seen in different FASD subtypes. The updated guidelines...
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