Background: Even though fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) has been reported in nonwestern nations, there is a paucity of information on neurodevelopment in the affected children from those nations. This article reports on a study of cognitive-motor development in a group of children with FAS from a community in the Western Cape Province in South Africa.Methods: Thirty-four children with FAS and 34 controls from grade 1 (school entry level) classes participated. The two groups comprised Afrikaans-speaking children of mixed ancestry (South African Colored) and were matched for age, sex, and family income. The Griffiths Mental Development Scales were used to assess cognitive motor development of the participants.Results: A multivariate analysis of covariance was performed to test the group effect on the combined Griffiths subscales adjusting for maternal education. The results showed a significant group effect. Follow-up analyses revealed that a combination of four subscales (Speech and Hearing, Performance, Practical Reasoning, and Eye and Hand Coordination) primarily contributed to the overall effect. Although there was a marginal effect on the Personal-Social subscale, no significant effect on the Locomotor (gross motor) subscale was found.Conclusions: The results showed that the FAS group was markedly deficient only in higher-order cognitive-motor competencies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article represents the proceedings of a symposium at the 2002 Research Society on Alcoholism/International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism meeting in San Francisco, CA. The organizers were Edward P. Riley and Sarah N. Mattson, and the chairperson was Edward P. Riley. The presentations were (1) Neurobehavioral deficits in alcohol-exposed South African infants: preliminary findings, by Sandra W. Jacobson, Christopher D. Molteno, Denis Viljoen, and Joseph L. Jacobson; (2) A pilot study of classroom intervention for learners with fetal alcohol syndrome in South Africa, by Colleen Adnams, M. W. Rossouw, M. D. Perold, P. W. Kodituwakku, and W. Kalberg; (3) Differential effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on fluid versus crystallized intelligence, by P. W. Kodituwakku, W. Kalberg, L. Robinson, and P. A. May; (4) Neurobehavioral outcomes of prenatal alcohol exposure: early identification of alcohol effects, by Claire D. Coles; (5) Fetal alcohol syndrome in Moscow, Russia: neuropsychology test performance, by Sarah N. Mattson, E. P. Riley, A. Matveeva, and G. Marintcheva; and (6) Long-term follow-up of Finnish children exposed to alcohol in utero in various durations, by Marit I. Korkman and I. Autti-Rämö. The discussant was Ting-Kai Li.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 03/2003; 27(2):362-73. DOI:10.1097/01.ALC.0000052703.38558.B2 · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of the study were, first, to perform a comprehensive assessment of neurocognitive status in early adolescence of children exposed to alcohol prenatally; and, second, to examine whether duration of exposure continues to be predictive of outcome at this age. Twenty-seven exposed 12-14-year-olds and 39 non-exposed 13-14-year-olds underwent neuropsychological assessments (WISC-III, NEPSY subtests) of attention and executive functions, language, visuomotor functions, and memory. The group of non-exposed children was used to develop preliminary test norms for the 13-14-year-old exposed children whereas published test norms could be used for the 12-year-olds. The results demonstrated neurocognitive impairment across all types of tasks. Impairment varied in degree according to the duration of alcohol exposure. Children exposed throughout pregnancy, most of who had diagnoses of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), performed well below the average range. It was concluded that the neurocognitive effects of alcohol exposure tend to be widespread and generalized. Attention and executive functions do not seem to be selectively affected. Further, the relationship between duration of prenatal alcohol exposure and neurocognitive development continues to be significant in early adolescence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the association of dose and timing of prenatal alcohol exposure with early language acquisition.
We examined language delay in a randomly selected, population-based sample of Western Australian children born in 1995-1996 whose mothers had agreed to participate in a longitudinal study on health-related behaviors and who had completed the 2-year questionnaire (N = 1739). Information on alcohol consumption was collected at 3 months after birth for four periods; the three months pre-pregnancy and for each trimester separately. Prenatal alcohol exposure was grouped into none, low, moderate-heavy and binge (>5) based on the total quantity consumed per week, quantity consumed per occasion, and frequency of consumption. The communication scale from the Ages & Stages Questionnaire was used to evaluate language delay. Logistic regression analysis was used to generate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, adjusted for confounding factors.
There was no association between low levels of alcohol consumption and language delay at any time period, although there was a nonsignificant 30% increase in risk when moderate-to-heavy levels of alcohol were consumed in the third trimester. Children exposed to a binge pattern of maternal alcohol consumption in the second trimester had nonsignificant, three-fold increased odds of language delay, with a similar estimate following third trimester alcohol exposure after controlling for covariates.
This study did not detect an association between low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure and language delay when compared with women who abstained from alcohol during pregnancy. A nonsignificant threefold increase in the likelihood of language delay was seen in children whose mothers binged during late pregnancy. However, the small numbers of women with a binge-drinking pattern in late pregnancy limited the power of this study; studies analyzing larger numbers of children exposed to binge drinking in late pregnancy are needed.
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