Mechanisms of Central Nervous System Alcohol-Related Birth Defects

  • P. Kevin Rudeen
  • Julia A. Creighton
Chapter
Part of the Experimental Biology and Medicine book series (EBAM, volume 21)

Abstract

It has been widely demonstrated that ethanol consumption by pregnant women has adverse effects on the unborn child (13, 15, 40, 86). The complex of alcohol-induced abnormalities are known collectively as the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS; 39). Physical malformations include craniofacial dysmorphology and growth retardation (12), whereas dysfunctions of the central nervous system (CNS) are manifest as mental retardation, poor coordination and hyperactive behavior. A substantial number of experimental studies have been performed to determine the features and the mechanism (s) of ethanol effects on the development of the CNS. Although there is no clear delineation of a single etiology for the effects of ethanol on the development of the CNS, there are now several lines of evidence which indicate that malformations of the developing CNS are the result of the interaction of ethanol with several systems. These presumptive “mechanisms”, whether related or unrelated to one another, certainly contribute to the overall effects of ethanol on the induction of CNS malformations during development.

Keywords

Migration Dopamine Aspirin Testosterone Prostaglandin 

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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Kevin Rudeen
    • 1
  • Julia A. Creighton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy & NeurobiologyThe University of Missouri — Columbia School of MedicineColumbiaUSA

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