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Treating Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The effects of fetal alcohol exposure may be more profound than researchers hoped. Results of a new study reveal the prenatal damage to peptides in the fetal brain may endure into adulthood despite environmental enrichment provided in a child’s early years.
Neurotrophins — a family of peptides produced in the nervous system — are critical for normal development of the brain. Research has shown prenatal alcohol exposure may be particularly destructive for neurotrophins, with effects lasting into adulthood.
“Neurotrophins also play important roles in learning and memory, and contribute to the repair of the brain following injury or stress,” study author Robert F. Berman, Ph.D., a professor in the department of neurological surgery at the University of California — Davis, was quoted as saying.
Dr. Berman said treatment of other types of brain injury with environmental enrichment therapy could be beneficial. However, new research in rats suggests the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and environmental rearing conditions on neurotrophin levels are largely independent.
“In this study, we found that being raised in an enriched environment, with ample opportunities for motor and sensory stimulation, and social interactions, unexpectedly resulted in reduced levels of neurotrophins in some areas of the cortex, but not in other areas which are well known to be affected by prenatal alcohol exposure,” Dr. Berman said.
He went on to say additional research is needed to devise better treatment strategies for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
SOURCE: To be published in the October 2008 edition of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
Louisiana is known for its joie de vivre — its love of life. Unfortunately, for many, along with its many festivals, parties and good times also comes a love of alcohol. According to state statistics, the people of St. Landry Parish do more than their share of drinking. The parish currently ranks among the top….
The anti-smoking drug Chantix may also be able to help problem drinkers cut down on alcohol, a preliminary study suggests. In a study of 20 smokers who were also heavy drinkers, Yale University researchers found that those who took Chantix for one week became less interested in drinking. They reported less craving for alcohol, and….
About 40 percent of reformed alcoholics wanted to commit suicide in the past, and about 20 percent actually tried to do so, according to a survey by a national suicide prevention center. The center conducted a comprehensive survey on former alcoholics between April and June this year. The percentage of former alcoholics who had wanted….
Suffering from excruciating spinal deterioration, Robby Garvin, 24, of South Carolina, tried many painkillers before his doctor prescribed methadone in June 2006, just before Mr. Garvin and his friend Joey Sutton set off for a weekend at an amusement park. On Saturday night Mr. Garvin called his mother to say, “Mama, this is the first….
Treatment centers provide a number of different treatment programs but not all programs will be effective for all people. Recognizing a good treatment program begins with an understanding of what a treatment program will (and will not) be able to do for you. The road to sobriety begins with the unique needs of each patient….