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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.
A campaign group has called for more research into the way alcohol can affect teenagers’ health. Alcohol Concern said it was worried that a rise in teenage drinking would lead to more people suffering alcohol-related illnesses at younger ages. The organisation called for further study as it emerged that a 22-year-old man was dying in….
Not getting treatment for addiction is a very poor and irresponsible decision. Alcoholism ranks as the third leading lifestyle- related cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Within any given year, as many as 80,000 people die from alcohol abuse disorders. On average, each death represents 30 years of life….
The Internet is where we spend more and more of our time. But for a growing number of people, it’s an out-of-control habit instead of a necessary part of life. Internet addiction — an online-related compulsive behavior that interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones and work — is….
Sorry to break the news but you may have a problem with alcohol. Even if you’re pretty sure you’re not an alcoholic you’d better think again about your drinking if you answer Yes to just one of the following questions. Do you ever worry that you tend to drink too much? Have any of your friends….
While Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has existed for more than 70 years, and is the most commonly sought source of help for alcohol-related problems in the United States, there is little “hard scientific evidence” showing that AA and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can improve substance-use outcomes. This study examined how helpful AA and NA may be for….
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