FASD study creates a blueprint for understanding the role of epigenetics in neurodevelopmental disorders

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

FASD study creates a blueprint for understanding the role of epigenetics in neurodevelopmental disorders

NeuroDevNet researchers have made the first steps towards identifying an epigenetic signature for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), drawing from the largest-ever study of children and youth exposed to alcohol before birth.

The multi-disciplinary group found a diverse pattern of DNA methylation that possibly indicates modified genetic expression in 110 children diagnosed with FASD, or known to have a history of prenatal alcohol exposure, compared to 96 age- and sex-matched controls aged 5-18.

“With this publication we are providing some deeper insights into potential mechanisms associated with FASD that had not been previously appreciated,” says NeuroDevNet Deputy Scientific Director James Reynolds. “We also provided evidence that may help explain the overlap between FASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.”

The research entailed a complex analysis of genetic and epigenetic material collected from saliva samples and cheek swabs, together…

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