Comparison of Motor Delays in Young Children With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to Those With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and With No Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
ABSTRACT Researchers are increasingly considering the importance of motor functioning of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The purpose of this study was to assess the motor development of young children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) to determine the presence and degree of delay in their motor skills and to compare their motor development with that of matched children without FAS.
The motor development of 14 children ages 20 to 68 months identified with FAS was assessed using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS). In addition, 2 comparison groups were utilized. Eleven of the children with FAS were matched for chronological age, gender, ethnicity, and communication age to: (1) 11 children with prenatal alcohol exposure who did not have FAS and (2) 11 matched children without any reported prenatal alcohol exposure. The motor scores on the VABS were compared among the 3 groups.
Most of the young children with FAS in this study showed clinically important delays in their motor development as measured on the VABS Motor Domain, and their fine motor skills were significantly more delayed than their gross motor skills. In the group comparisons, the young children with FAS had significantly lower Motor Domain standard (MotorSS) scores than the children not exposed to alcohol prenatally. They also had significantly lower Fine Motor Developmental Quotients than the children in both the other groups. No significant group differences were found in gross motor scores. For MotorSS scores and Fine Motor Developmental Quotients, the means and standard errors indicated a continuum in the scores from FAS to prenatal alcohol exposure to nonexposure.
These findings strongly suggest that all young children with FAS should receive complete developmental evaluations that include assessment of their motor functioning, to identify problem areas and provide access to developmental intervention programs that target deficit areas such as fine motor skills. Fine motor delays in children with FAS may be related to specific neurobehavioral deficits that affect fine motor skills. The findings support the concept of an FASD continuum in some areas of motor development.
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ABSTRACT: To determine a brief, practical battery of tests that discriminate between children with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and unexposed controls.11/2013; 2(3):51-60. DOI:10.7895/ijadr.v2i3.83
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ABSTRACT: Maternal drinking during pregnancy can result in a wide spectrum of cognitive and behavioral abnormalities termed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The heterogeneity observed in FASD-related phenotypes can be attributed to a number of environmental and genetic factors; however, ethanol dose and timing of exposure may have significant influences. Here, we report the behavioral effects of acute, binge-like ethanol exposure at three neurodevelopmental times corresponding to the first, second, and third trimester of human development in C57BL/6J mice. Results show that developmental ethanol exposure consistently delays the development of basic motor skill reflexes and coordination as well as impairs spatial learning and memory. Observed changes in activity and anxiety-related behaviors, however, appear to be dependent on timing of alcohol exposure. The variability in behaviors between different treatment models suggests that these may be useful in evaluating the mechanisms disrupted by ethanol at specific neurodevelopmental times. The results provide further evidence that, regardless of developmental stage, the developing brain is acutely sen-sitive to alcohol exposure.Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science 02/2013; 3:85-99. DOI:10.4236/jbbs.2013.31009