Author(s): Medina AE
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Abstract The ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy can result in a group of neurobehavioral abnormalities collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). During the past decade, studies using animal models indicated that early alcohol exposure can dramatically affect neuronal plasticity, an essential property of the central nervous system responsible for the normal wiring of the brain and involved in processes such as learning and memory. The abnormalities in neuronal plasticity caused by alcohol can explain many of the neurobehavioral deficits observed in FASD. Conversely, improving neuronal plasticity may have important therapeutic benefits. In this review, the author discuss the mechanisms that lead to these abnormalities and comment on recent pharmacological approaches that have been showing promising results in improving neuronal plasticity in FASD.
This article was published in Neuroscientist
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology