Focus on: biomarkers of fetal alcohol exposure and fetal alcohol effects. Academic Article Review uri icon


  • One of the ongoing challenges for the accurate diagnosis and treatment of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is the difficulty of confirming whether a mother drank during her pregnancy. Commonly used screening questionnaires often are unreliable, and current established biomarkers of alcohol consumption are not sensitive enough for use with many pregnant women. These limitations underscore the critical need to develop novel biomarkers with greater sensitivity for detecting moderate levels of drinking during pregnancy for longer periods of time after the last drinking episode. In addition, developing reliable biomarkers of fetal alcohol effects that can identify children at risk for adverse neurobehavioral outcomes could lead to behavioral interventions earlier in development. The use of animal models of FASD in biomarker development could accelerate progress in this challenging field of research.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011