Article

Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on brain activation during an arithmetic task: an fMRI study.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research (Impact Factor: 3.31). 09/2009; 33(11):1901-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.01028.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT While behavioral studies have established that prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can result in diminished arithmetic processing capability, the underlying neural correlates of this deficit are still unclear. The aim of the present study was to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine the effect of PAE on neuronal activation during a subtraction task.
Participants were young adults from a low socio-economic status population who were identified prenatally; the sample consisted of healthy unexposed controls (n = 17) and PAE who were subdivided based on the presence (n = 19) or absence of physical dysmorphic signs (n = 18). Multiple regression analysis was used to determine extent of activation and percent signal change during arithmetic processing, using a letter-matching task as the baseline. Region of interest analysis of activation was performed in the native space and normalized for each individual to compensate for the considerable variability in head size observed in the alcohol-exposed population.
An exposure-dependent response was observed in task performance and neuronal activation. Dysmorphic PAE individuals showed significantly lower task-related performance and activation in regions known to be associated with arithmetic processing, including left superior and right inferior parietal regions and medial frontal gyrus, while the nondysmorphic PAE group was generally intermediate but not significantly different from the control group in task performance and activation.
Results indicate that there is a range of effects of PAE on arithmetic processing and that the severity of this deficit may be dependent on degree of impairment demonstrated by the exposed individual. Evidence of physical dysmorphia may be indicative of functional damage to regions associated with arithmetic calculation, resulting in markedly impaired neuronal recruitment.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
77 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Math Interactive Learning Experience (MILE), a program designed to address academic and behavioral problems found in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), was found to be effective in a randomized clinical trials with results that persisted at a 6-month follow-up. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of a community translation, in partnership with several community sites in the metropolitan Atlanta area. A total of 60 participants were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups: the MILE program administered at a specialty care center (Center MILE) or in the community (Community MILE), or to parent math instruction only (Parent Instruction). This study evaluated instructor satisfaction with the training program, knowledge related to FASD and the MILE program, adherence to the MILE teaching methodology, participant math outcomes, and parents' satisfaction with their treatment experience. Instructors reported a high degree of satisfaction with the overall training and mean site fidelity ratings were positively correlated with change in math performance. Those in the MILE intervention groups demonstrated more positive gains in math skills than those in the Parent Instruction group but did not differ from each other. Parents in the Parent Instruction group reported less satisfaction with their intervention than those assigned to the Center MILE group but satisfaction ratings did not differ between those in the MILE intervention groups. These results indicate that the community translation and the MILE instructor training program developed as part of this process were well-received and effective in producing positive treatment outcomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The behavioral consequences of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are serious and persist throughout life. The causative mechanisms underlying FASD are poorly understood. However, much has been learned about FASD from human structural and functional studies as well as from animal models, which have provided a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying FASD. Using animal models of FASD, it has been recently discovered that ethanol induces neuroimmune activation in the developing brain. The resulting microglial activation, production of proinflammatory molecules, and alteration in expression of developmental genes are postulated to alter neuron survival and function and lead to long-term neuropathological and cognitive defects. It has also been discovered that microglial loss occurs, reducing microglia's ability to protect neurons and contribute to neuronal development. This is important, because emerging evidence demonstrates that microglial depletion during brain development leads to long-term neuropathological and cognitive defects. Interestingly, the behavioral consequences of microglial depletion and neuroimmune activation in the fetal brain are particularly relevant to FASD. This chapter reviews the neuropathological and behavioral abnormalities of FASD and delineates correlates in animal models. This serves as a foundation to discuss the role of the neuroimmune system in normal brain development, the consequences of microglial depletion and neuroinflammation, the evidence of ethanol induction of neuroinflammatory processes in animal models of FASD, and the development of anti-inflammatory therapies as a new strategy for prevention or treatment of FASD. Together, this knowledge provides a framework for discussion and further investigation of the role of neuroimmune processes in FASD.
    International Review of Neurobiology 01/2014; 118C:41-80. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-801284-0.00003-8 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Children with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) may have cognitive, behavioral and brain abnormalities. Here, we compare rates of white matter and subcortical gray matter volume change in PAE and control children, and examine relationships between annual volume change and arithmetic ability, behavior, and executive function. Participants (n = 75 PAE/64 control; age: 7.1-15.9 years) each received two structural magnetic resonance scans, ∼2 years apart. Assessments included Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV), the Child Behavior Checklist and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function. Subcortical white and gray volumes were extracted for each hemisphere. Group volume differences were tested using false discovery rate (q < 0.05). Analyses examined group-by-age interactions and group-score interactions for correlations between change in volume and raw behavioral scores. Results showed that subjects with PAE had smaller volumes than control subjects across the brain. Significant group-score interactions were found in temporal and parietal regions for WISC arithmetic scores and in frontal and parietal regions for behavioral measures. Poorer cognitive/ behavioral outcomes were associated with larger volume increases in PAE, while control subjects generally showed no significant correlations. In contrast with previous results demonstrating different trajectories of cortical volume change in PAE, our results show similar rates of subcortical volume growth in subjects with PAE and control subjects. We also demonstrate abnormal brain-behavior relationships in subjects with PAE, suggesting different use of brain resources. Our results are encouraging in that, due to the stable volume differences, there may be an extended window of opportunity for intervention in children with PAE. Hum Brain Mapp, 2015. © 2015 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 02/2015; DOI:10.1002/hbm.22772 · 6.92 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
12 Downloads
Available from
Jul 25, 2014