MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is considered to be the most serious substance to unborn babies. Doctors believe they’re only beginning to understand the problems drinking alcohol while pregnant will lead to. But, as we found breakthroughs here at home will mean some kids will face brighter futures.
“We always like to reiterate the message that there is no safe time for alcohol consumption during pregnancy,” professor Jeff Wozniak said.
Wozniak and the University of Minnesota have dedicated a decade to trying to change the course for kids suffering from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, known as FASD.
“I think this is an important step that shows we can actually alter the trajectory of brain development,” Wozniak said.
New findings recently published in a medical journal point to promise. As part of the study, 2- to 5-year-olds prenatally exposed to alcohol began drinking a nutrient daily called choline. Now, as some turned 10, Wozniak brought them back to compare the kids taking the choline with those drinking a placebo.
“When we look further out, what we see are differences that are more pronounced, more noticeable,” Wozniak said.
Cognitive tests proved the kids taking the choline had improvements in memory, concentration, and problem solving.
“It’s validating to see what we predicted would happen over the very long-term does seem to be happening,” Wozniak said. “This is the first step that an intervention can be powerful.”
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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society, its stakeholders, or funders.