Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Birth Defects due to Alcohol Overview

Another name for Birth Defects due to Alcohol is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

What is fetal alcohol syndrome?
A fetus with fetal alcohol syndrome has birth defects that occur when the mother drinks alcohol during her pregnancy. Birth defects include facial deformities, growth retardation, and mental retardation. In the US, about 1 in 700 newborns have fetal alcohol syndrome.

What are the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome?
Signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome may include close set eyes, abnormal skin folds around the eyes, abnormal tooth enamel, valvular heart disease, joint problems, growth retardation, small jaw, ear and nose abnormalities, and mental retardation.

How does the doctor treat fetal alcohol syndrome?
There is no specific treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome. Treatment is focused on managing birth defects, mental retardation and behavioral abnormalities.

Continue to Birth Defects due to Alcohol Incidence

Last Updated: May 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Birth Defects due to Alcohol References
  1. Hannigan JH, Armant DR. Alcohol in pregnancy and neonatal outcome. Semin Neonatol. 2000 Aug;5(3):243-54. [10956449]
  2. Murphy-Brennan MG, Oei TP. Is there evidence to show that fetal alcohol syndrome can be prevented? J Drug Educ. 1999;29(1):5-24. [10349824]
  3. Wattendorf DJ, Muenke M. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jul 15;72(2):279-82, 285. [1605045]
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