There is not a specific test to diagnose FAS. However, the Center of Disease Control collaborated with experts to write guidelines in regards to diagnosing FAS. These guidelines include: abnormal facial features, lower than average height and weight, central nervous system problems, and prenatal alcohol exposure.12 Due to the fact that there isn’t a definite test for the diagnosis of FAS, some cases go undetected. This could potentially be detrimental for the affected child because steps of intervention aren’t set into place to help a child suffering from symptoms of potential FAS. If a child is diagnosed early in life with FAS, the prognosis is much better because symptoms may be reduced with different methods of intervention.2
Treatment of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The effects of alcohol exposure that produce fetal alcohol syndrome are for the most part irreversible. Potential treatments of fetal alcohol exposure are under investigation. These studies include finding a way to protect the neurotransmitter pathways early in development and neuroprotective peptides. Studies are testing animals to discover if there are positive effects of preventing or reducing the effects of FAS.2 Early behavioral intervention also shows promise in lessening the effects of FAS.
Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
There may be some protective genetic measures in women that could decrease the child’s risk of developing FAS if prenatal alcohol consumption occurs. Studies have show that the risk is decreased for a child of a woman with a more proficient alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme and cytohrome P450 2E1.2
The CDC has recognized the importance of prevention of FAS and has developed a couple of projects like “C...
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...n the pregnancy. The label on an alcoholic beverage is not enough to prevent the occurrence of alcohol related disorders. In the future, there should be increased amounts of education provided to men and women in the childbearing stage of life in regards to responsible prenatal activity. Doctor’s offices should also take a proactive approach by presenting questionnaires and non-judgmental counseling sessions to screen for those who may be at risk for drug or alcohol use during pregnancy. A baby does not get to choose who brings them into this world. It is our responsibility as adults to provide the best environment possible for the child to thrive and survive. There has been no safe level of alcohol intake confirmed; therefore it is best to educate society about the risks of consumption in hopes of decreasing the statistics of FAS in the future.
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