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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
MOMINO, Wakana; SANSEVERINO, Maria Teresa V. and SCHULER-FACCINI, Lavínia. Prenatal alcohol exposure as a risk factor for dysfunctional behaviors: the role of the pediatrician. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol.84, n.4, suppl., pp. S76-S79. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572008000500011.
OBJECTIVE: Although the classic features of fetal alcohol syndrome have been recognized since 1968, research on alcohol teratogenesis has only recently demonstrated that the brain is the organ in the body most vulnerable to the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. In this present article, we reviewed the literature focusing mainly on behavioral disturbances related to prenatal ethanol exposure. SOURCES: We performed a PubMed search on the literature published between 1968 and 2006 using the terms ethanol, pregnancy and behavior. We limited our search to studies on humans. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: The data presented in this review suggested that youths with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder are at risk of disruptive social behavior, among other neurobehavioral abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: Although it is still impossible to completely separate brain teratogenesis secondary to alcohol exposure from environmental postnatal influences as the definite cause for these outcomes, the pediatrician should be encouraged to early diagnose children affected by fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. This provides proper management and care and avoids long-term consequences on their behavior, besides ensuring better and productive school and social adaptation.
Keywords : Fetal alcohol syndrome; ethanol; alcohol; behavior; pregnancy; teratogenesis.