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Archivos argentinos de pediatría

Print version ISSN 0325-0075On-line version ISSN 1668-3501


EVRARD, Sergio Gustavo. Diagnostic criteria for fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Arch. argent. pediatr. [online]. 2010, vol.108, n.1, pp.61-67. ISSN 0325-0075.

Prenatal ethanol exposure, in our professional practice, is an almost neglected condition as an important etiological factor for the induction of a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric diseases that may appear during childhood, adolescence or adulthood. Children born to alcoholic mothers may show a profound mental retardation ranging to an apparent normality, and extending through epilepsy, attention deficit disorders with or without hyperactivity, autism and pervasive developmental disorders, and different types of learning disorders. When adolescents, they may develop different kinds of personality disorders and substance abuse disorders. Finally, in adulthood, they may suffer from different types of affective and psychotic disorders, among others. A great number of those children may not develop their full mental and social potentiality as free individuals. They usually have diverse types of cognitive, attentional, mnemonic and affective impairments. Not infrequently, they engage in antisocial behaviors or have school or work troubles. In this work, the present clinical classifications and diagnostic criteria for the disorders emerging from a prenatal ethanol exposure are reviewed in order to call attention to the medical pediatric and neuropsychiatric community about the increasingly, although underdiagnosed, frequency of these disorders in our country.

Keywords : Prenatal ethanol exposure; Fetal alcohol syndrome; Neurodevelopmental disorders.

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