Article

Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 61-80

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging outcomes from a comprehensive magnetic resonance study of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

  • Susan J. AstleyAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington Email author 
  • , Elizabeth H. AylwardAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of Washington
  • , Heather Carmichael OlsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington
  • , Kimberly KernsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Victoria
  • , Allison BrooksAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington
  • , Truman E. CogginsAffiliated withDepartment of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington
  • , Julian DaviesAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Washington
  • , Susan DornAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington
  • , Beth GendlerAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington
    • , Tracy JirikowicAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington
    • , Paul KraegelAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington
    • , Kenneth MaravillaAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of Washington
    • , Todd RichardsAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of Washington

Abstract

A comprehensive neuropsychological/psychiatric, MR imaging, (MRI), MR spectroscopy (MRS), and functional MRI (fMRI) assessment was administered to children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) to determine if global and/or focal abnormalities could be identified, and distinguish diagnostic subclassifications across the spectrum. The four study groups included: 1. FAS/Partial FAS; 2. Static Encephalopathy/Alcohol Exposed (SE/AE); 3. Neurobehavioral Disorder/Alcohol Exposed (ND/AE); and 4. healthy peers with no prenatal alcohol exposure. fMRI outcomes are reported here. The neuropsychological/psychiatric, MRI, and MRS outcomes are reported separately. fMRI was used to assess activation in seven brain regions during performance of N-back working memory tasks. Children across the full spectrum of FASD exhibited significant working memory deficits and altered activation patterns in brain regions that are known to be involved in working memory. These results demonstrate the potential research and diagnostic value of this non-invasive MR tool in the field of FASD.

Keywords

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Working memory FASD 4-Digit Diagnostic Code N-back