Need help to write the response to the discussion bellow: at least 200 words”The article that I chose was by Alison Niccols and discusses the affects of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) on development of the brain and childhood/adult behaviors. FAS results from chronic alcohol use by the mother during the pregancy; not to be confused by similar disorders resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol is a teratogen, which means that if readily passes through the placenta from the mother to the fetus. One of the signs of FAS is facial distortions in the newborn infant: elongated mid-face, flattened jaw, and hypoplasia of nasal bridge. These features may diminish over time. During the period of 4-10 weeks after conception, ehanol can cause excessive cell death in the central nervous system and abnormalities in nerve cell migration, which can cause disosrganized tissue structure (which explain the distortions in facial features). If migrating cells are not in the right place at the right time, then normal synaptic connections will not form. During the third trimester of pregnancy, alcholol exposure damages the cerebellum, hippocampus, and the prefontal cortes resulting in small brain size (head circumference of these infants is below the 3rd percentile). It is not clear if these abnormalities are caused by the alcohol directly or by dammage to the placenta/ambilical cord resulting in poor blood/nutrient flow between mother and fetus. Alcohol interferes with neurotransmitter production, which leads to the hypothalamus not producing enough growth hormone resulting in lower birth weights (below the 10th percentile). The lack of neurotransmitters also leads to neurons commiting suicide. Interestingly, FAS does not affect each fetus the same: some come out unscathed (50%)! Why some fetus’s are affected and others are not is an enigma. It seems that if the mother is in the chornic phase of alcholism the child is more likely to suffer FAS than a child from a mother who is in the early stages of alcoholism. Also, successive children from alcholic mothers more at risk. Another surprise for me is that FAS is the most common identifialbe cause of mental retardation; occurs more that Down syndrome and spina bifida put together (and this is including the fact the FAS is under reported and often misdiagnosed). Results of FAS: low IQ, small size, language defecits, arrested social development, attention defecits, memory defecits,…… on and on! Don’t drink while pregnant!!!”
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