Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Effects and Mechanisms of Ethanol on the Developing Brain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Alcohol abuse during pregnancy may lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), characterized by structural brain abnormalities and compromised cognitive and behavioral functions. Ethanol interferes with every step of central nervous system development; the cognitive and behavioral abnormalities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure are therefore due to a combination of effects exerted by ethanol throughout gestation. This chapter describes the physical and neurobehavioral consequences of in utero alcohol exposure and the brain structures affected in humans. Animal models used in FASD research are also described. Finally, this chapter provides an overview of the main mechanisms implicated in the developmental effects of ethanol as well as of experimental treatments under investigation for the amelioration of the consequences of FASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Factors in Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128004074
ISBN (Print)9780128002285
StatePublished - Feb 3 2015


  • Animal models
  • Apoptosis
  • Brain
  • Epigenetics
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Fetal development
  • Glial cells
  • Neurobehavioral deficits
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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