Experimental Approaches to the Study of Behavioral Impairments Associated with Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol

  • E. V. Razumkina
  • P. K. Anokhin
  • T. V. ProskuryakovaEmail author
  • I. Yu. Shamakina

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in children whose mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy are characterized by a wide spectrum of anatomical and physical abnormalities, growth delay, and functional impairments to the nervous system. The most severe form of FASD is fetal alcohol syndrome, where these anomalies occur along with typical facial and cranial features and morphological changes to the brain. Despite widespread and numerous clinical studies, the basic mechanisms of FASD remain poorly investigated. Studies using experimental models of FASD play a key role in investigating the mechanisms of this pathology, providing for rapid studies of several generations of animals with monitoring of the contributions of social, environmental, and genetic factors to its development. This review addresses existing experimental approaches to studies of the behavioral aspects of FASD. Particular attention is paid to explorations of impairments to motor and executive functions, stress reactivity, learning, and memory – effects fundamentally similar in animals and children with FASD. The conclusion considers the important role of social and environmental factors in the early postnatal period in realizing the effects of prenatal alcoholization.


fetal alcohol spectrum disorders central nervous system experimental models development behavior cognitive functions learning memory 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. V. Razumkina
    • 1
  • P. K. Anokhin
    • 1
  • T. V. Proskuryakova
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. Yu. Shamakina
    • 1
  1. 1.Serbskii National Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and NarcologyMoscowRussia

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