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


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:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Development and Fast Analysis of 3D Printed HF Components

19.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

In monogamous species, a compatible partner is more important than an ornamented one

19.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Signaling Pathways to the Nucleus

19.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>