Blood Tests to Detect FASD Could Be Possible

Posted On: 11-11-2016
Blood Tests to Detect FASD Could Be Possible
A new study published in POLOS ONE shows that a certain blood test performed on pregnant women can help to identify if the baby is at risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

The study looked at the health and drinking habits of 68 pregnant women living in western Ukraine. Blood samples were taken during the second and third trimesters of the pregnancies. The researchers noted that in the women who reported moderate to high levels of drinking during pregnancy, the RNA molecules in the mother’s blood reflected some changes. The babies of these mothers went on to show physical or mental signs of FASD.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is caused by women drinking considerable amounts of alcohol while pregnant. The syndrome can affect the baby’s development and contribute to physical and mental health problems that last throughout life. However, if doctors are able to identify infants who are at risk for FASD, it could help contribute to better treatment options.

Rajesh Miranda, co-senior author of the study and a professor at Texas A&M University’s Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, indicated that infants born with normal-looking features are often not suspected as having FASD. This leads to the inability to diagnose and treat some infants.

The results of this study could mean that early interventions are provided for more infants who need it, however, more studies are needed.

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