, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 291-322

Fetal alcohol syndrome: the vulnerability of the developing brain and possible mechanisms of damage

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Fetal alcohol exposure has multiple deleterious effects on brain development, and represents a leading known cause of mental retardation. This review of the effects of alcohol exposure on the developing brain evaluates results from human, animal andin vitro studies, but focuses on key research issues, including possible mechanisms of damage. Factors that affect the risk and severity of fetal alcohol damage also are considered.