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: Data were obtained from three samples of women of childbearing age. One sample of women is from prenatal clinics serving Plains Indian women. The second sample is of women from the Plains whose children were referred to special diagnostic developmental clinics, as their children were believed to have developmental issues consistent with prenatal alcohol consumption. The third sample is of women from South Africa, each of whom has given birth to a child diagnosed with full fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Data across samples conform to expected trends on many variables. For example, the maternal age at time of pregnancy, a major risk factor for FAS, ranged from a mean of 23.5 years for the prenatal clinic sample, to 23.8 years for the developmental clinic sample, to 27.6 for the sample of women who have delivered children with FAS. Other variables of maternal risk for FAS expected from the extant literature, such as high gravidity and parity, binge drinking, heavy intergenerational drinking in the mother's extended family and immediate social network, and length of drinking career, were compared across the three samples with variable results. However, normative measures of drinking problems are unreliable when reported across cultures. An unexpected finding from this three-sample comparison was the differential risk found when comparing U.S. women to South African women. Women in the U.S. Plains Indian samples report a high consumption of alcohol in a binge pattern of drinking, yet there is less detectable damage to the fetus than among the South African women. Body mass index (BMI) and lifelong and current nutrition may have a substantial impact, along with the above factors, in relative risk for an FAS birth. The level of risk for producing a child with FAS is influenced by environmental and behavioral conditions that vary between populations and among individual women. Also, because many syndromes are genetically based, there is a need for full behavioral and genetic histories of the mother, family, and child being studied. Collecting extensive behavioral information as well as genetic histories will provide the requisite information for making an accurate diagnosis of FAS.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C Seminars in Medical Genetics 05/2004; 127C(1):10-20. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.c.30011 · 3.91 Impact Factor
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