Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows that prenatal exposure to alcohol may cause visual problems in infants

20.10.2005


Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a disorder that is indicated by distinct facial characteristics, growth retardation, and poor intellectual and attentional function, can occur when mothers drink alcohol heavily during pregnancy. A new study in the October issue of The Journal of Pediatrics shows that prenatal alcohol exposure can also affect an infant’s visual acuity or sharpness of vision.



Sandra W. Jacobson, Ph.D. and colleagues from Wayne State University and University of Cape Town evaluated 131 infants of mixed ancestry in Cape Town, South Africa. After interviewing each mother to ascertain her alcohol consumption during pregnancy, the authors tested the visual acuity of the infants at 6 ½ months of age using the Teller Acuity Cards (TAC) Test, which is comprised of gray cards with a concentration of vertical black and white stripes on the left or the right side. An examiner looked through a peephole in the center of the card to determine where the infant was looking. Poor visual acuity was indicated when the infant was not looking at the side containing the lines.

Of the infants examined, 22 met the criteria for being diagnosed with FAS, and their visual acuity was significantly poorer than those without FAS. 27% of the infants with FAS scored below the fifth percentile, as opposed to the 9% of the infants without FAS. However, half of the infants with low TAC scores who did not meet the criteria for full FAS were born to mothers who reported binge drinking (greater than 5 drinks per occasion) during pregnancy.


The authors also found that the infants born to mothers ages 30 and older who drank during pregnancy were at greater risk for poor visual acuity, although the older mothers did not drink larger quantities of alcohol. The authors speculate that this could be attributed to the age-related physiological changes in older mothers or to chronic drinking over a longer period of time.

The authors point out that in-depth, ophthalmologic evaluations of the study infants throughout childhood are necessary to determine the extent of visual abnormalities due to prenatal alcohol exposure.

The study is reported in "Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on infant visual acuity" by R. Colin Carter, MD, Sandra W. Jacobson, PhD, Christopher D. Molteno, MD, Lisa M. Chiodo, PhD, Denis Viljoen, MD, Joseph L. Jacobson, PhD. The article appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 147, Number 4 (October 2005), published by Elsevier.

Terri Stridsberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elsevierhealth.com/
http://www.cchmc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>