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National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Australia.
[ Issue #27, November 2015 ]
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Dear Members & Supporters,
This month in “The Loop”

We bring you a bumper issue this month, full of inspiring stories, breaking research, useful resources, and news articles of interest.

 
After the Four Corners episode on the 2nd November, the profile of FASD was raised with many articles in Australia being released and shared. It is now up to NOFASD Australia, our community, and other related organisations to continue to talk about FASD and how it affects individuals, families and communities on a daily basis. Sharing and sustaining the 'realness' of FASD to those who aren't faced with these challenges every day is the biggest task we face.

 

Help NOFASD Australia and pledge your support by signing your name to Faith's List – it's free!
 
As always, join us on Facebook and Twitter for consistent updates about the latest news and events, and please share the NOFASD Community newsletter with your family and friends.
 
Until next time,
 
Terri Baran
Social Media & Administration Officer
 
NOFASD Australia does not necessarily agree with the articles below. They are provided for interest purposes only.

 

 
From My Desk...

The ABC 4 Corners program on FASD (Whitmont, "Hidden Harm" 2/11/2015) was marked by a powerful display of public interest. As workers in the FASD arena, we are continually in awe of the strength and honesty of parents who share their often emotional stories balanced with a focus on building an improved quality of life for their child, despite all the obstacles.

NOFASD Australia recorded almost 29,000 hits on the website following the 4 Corners program and responded to more than 200 online and telephone inquiries. Whilst there is no doubt progress is being made and FASD is on the Commonwealth government policy agenda, I am less certain that FASD has attracted the level of public attention this issue needs. Why? This is perhaps best explained by a selected few of the calls.

  • They said they would only be able to do it if she had co morbidity drug/alcohol issues; that FAS is not recognised as a diagnosis so it is not a condition for which they can accept referrals.
  • My son shows all the symptoms mentioned in the web site. When he was in grade 2 they believed he was ADD and started him on medication. At age 14 his headmaster said he was wasting their time.
  • Known maternal alcohol use, a young adult with multiple childhood diagnoses – pervasive developmental disorder, FAS, ODD, ADHD, personality disorder. The reality is anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, memory impairment, sensory and emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, difficulty reading social cues, learning disability and disorganised. He is intelligent and at risk because he leaves home for days at a time but has no idea where he goes even though he recalls incidents sometimes.
  • Older man who believes he has lived with this condition all his life, undiagnosed. Parents drank a lot, says he never fitted in, maths was always a problem at school, he struggles to take in information, is a loner and always changing course and is impulsive.
A parent told me that fetal alcohol exposure had been discounted as causal because there were no facial features. We heard many, many stories about misdiagnosis in Australia particularly in respect to ADD/ADHD.  Many parents also talked about their encounters with health professionals and service providers who hear but don't listen to parent wisdom.  Helping find services and service providers who are 'willing' to include fetal alcohol exposure in their repertoire sometimes seems like a professional discretion rather than acceptance of 40 years of scientific knowledge which has really not changed over time.  It is really unacceptable these days to discount the toxicity of alcohol.

 

We must do everything we can to keep FASD on the policy agendas of governments and on the public agenda. It is simply not good enough for more inquiries on the harms caused by alcohol and alcohol and other drug strategies which are just words on paper if there is no action. I noticed a huge drop in the average weekly hits (5,224) and inquiries (53) in November to the first couple of weeks in December (1,533 and 14 respectively). This tells me we need to keep profiling FASD in as many ways as we can.
 
Stay safe,

Vicki Russell

 

Of Special Interest

National spotlight on FASD

The ABC Four Corners investigation has turned the nation's attention to the children and families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The Four Corners program highlighted the negative stigma, lack of support, and the difficulty accessing services that children born with FASD and their families face.
 
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) have called on the Minister for Rural Health Senator the Hon Fiona Nash to establish a much needed rural Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic and a National Clinical Network across Australia. FARE's National FASD Clinic and Clinical Network proposal aims to address the lack of diagnostic opportunities, standardised screening, data collection, and FASD awareness in Australia. The call comes as a confronting ABC Four Corners investigation has turned the nation’s attention to the plight of parents, carers, and children born with FASD; and highlighted the negative stigma, lack of support, and the difficulty accessing services that they face.


Launch of the Centre for the Prevention of Harm to Children and Adolescents from Drug and Alcohol
In late October, The Children's Hospital at Westmead celebrated the launch of the Centre for the Prevention of Harm to Children and Adolescents from Drug and Alcohol.  The NSW Government invested $2.3 million to create this unique program, which was officially opened by the Minister for Health, The Hon. Jillian Skinner MP.  The Centre will bring together two teams of experts, (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Teenlink, to assist patients, families and health professionals in NSW.

 

National News and Media

OPINION
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: 'Hidden' problem is more pervasive than we thought
Everyone, it seems, gets a say in the alcohol debate except the unborn child. Monday's [2nd November] Four Corners program highlighted the need for all of us to consider the lifelong impact of environmental exposures in the womb and to ensure that the developing child has the best possible start to life. These disorders pervade every stratum of society. It is not simply a diagnosis of the disadvantaged.

 
The nation's most comprehensive annual alcohol poll has shed light on what we drink and think, highlighting that Australians want to get rid of our boozy hangover and are looking to governments to take action. Three quarters (75%) of Australians think we have a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse, but for the first time this decade the annual poll has seen a significant shift in public perceptions – with an increasing number of Australians embracing recent government efforts of address alcohol harms and eager for the industry to be held more accountable.
 
Perth researchers are developing a tool to help diagnose FASD, along with other developmental delays and behavioural problems caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Professor Carol Bower, from the Telethon Kids Institute, is studying a group of young people at the Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre. When complete, the tool could provide extra information to West Australian courts and the results may be considered in future sentencing.
 
An innovating campaign that challenges partners and friends to go without alcohol in support of a loved one that is pregnant, has received funding and support from the ACT Government. Pregnant Pause, an initiative of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is one of six ACT organisations to be awarded a Healthy Canberra Grant with over $282,000 provided over three years to support the campaign rollout in Canberra and its surrounding region.
 
Like all mothers, Anne Russell and Claire Holland love their children dearly. However, both women live with the knowledge their actions during pregnancy resulted in their children struggling with life. Russell's son Seth, 31, and Holland's daughter Jaimie, 10, both suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome [sic] disorder (FASD). When pregnant, neither mother knew the damage their drinking was doing to the developing brains of their unborn babies.
 
FASD AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The NSW prison system admits it does not diagnose foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in either the adult or juvenile justice system. Of more than 12,000 people in custody in NSW, a large proportion have varying degrees of intellectual disability and/or cognitive impairment, however, the network does not report specifically on rates of FASD diagnoses.
 
"Our research shows how Australia imprisons thousands of Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disabilities each year because of a lack of understanding, and a dearth of community-based services and support. It also shows what can be done about this shameful breach of human rights."
 
Aboriginal people with disabilities are caught in a spiral of over policing. And the absence of appropriate support and services police have become the default front line response for indigenous people with mental and cognitive disabilities. Three per cent of Australians are indigenous but they make up 27 per cent of the national prison population.
 
POLICY AND ACTION
Lawson (8 November 2015) reported on the ACT government call for ideas to tackle drug abuse, smoking, e-cigarettes and alcohol abuse, pointing out that drinking, especially, is a big problem in Canberra. Canberra has a worse problem with alcohol than other states and territories with one-third of ACT men drink at harmful levels, more than two standard drinks a day, compared with 26 per cent nationally. For women, this figure is 12 per cent which is higher than the 10 per cent reported average.
 
The Queensland Alcohol and Other Drugs Action Plan 2015-17 aims to prevent and reduce the adverse impacts of alcohol and other drugs on the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders. It was developed as part of the implementation of the whole-of-government Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014-19. The Action Plan outlines actions under three priority areas – demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction – in line with the National Drug Strategy. The Plan mentions FASD twice, once in respect to the highlighted Gold Coast FASD Clinic and the other to review the booklet "My Child has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder." This is despite data on risky drinking which places Queenslanders slightly above the Australian average.
"Greater proportions of Queenslanders drink alcohol (80.4 per cent compared to 78.2 per cent) and drink on a daily basis (7.4 per cent compared to 6.5 per cent) than other Australians (p.6)."
Within the “Vulnerable Groups” section (p.7) the data estimates rural and remote communities are two times more likely to drink alcohol in risky quantities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more likely to abstain (23%) than non-indigenous Queenslanders. One of the highlights might be the development of an “integrated framework for the delivery of Specialist Courts and Court Diversionary programs in Queensland” (p.3) which recognises offending, alcohol and other drug use, child protection and domestic violence are linked. In an alcohol and other drugs action plan, more than a framework should be articulated.
 
It was handed a report on how to deal with foetal alcohol disorder eight months ago. But the Northern Territory Government is yet to act on a single recommendation. The Child Protection Minister says he’s waiting for more information from the Commonwealth.
 
This is a report of the review conducted regarding the effectiveness of laws in reducing alcohol-related harm to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. The review is required by s28 of the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 (Cth) (Stronger Futures Act).
 
Child health expert calls for federal intervention to curb alcohol during pregnancy
A child health expert has called for stricter taxes on alcohol by the federal government to fight hidden and long-term illnesses that are related to alcohol and pregnancy. According to Elizabeth Elliott, paediatrician and foetal alcohol research expert, University of Sydney, the problem of FASD remains under wraps in Australia, partly because of reluctance to talk about alcohol and pregnancy.
 
Fleming, 9th November 2015 reported on the widely accepted belief that a small amount of alcohol is good for you is based on flawed studies and should be urgently withdrawn, an analysis of the research has revealed. At a major conference in Perth, leading alcohol researcher Tanya Chikritzhs argued that reviews of the observational studies that led to the findings found the evidence was significantly weaker than thought. Chikritzhs is cited as claiming a "growing likelihood that widespread bias and confounding ... epidemiological literature has underpinned spurious protective associations, warranting an urgent repositioning of the status of 'moderate' alcohol use as a protective agent for health".

 

Resources & Multimedia

What Women Need to Know
Have you heard conflicting messages about alcohol use during pregnancy? Here are answers to commonly asked questions about drinking during pregnancy and how to have a healthy pregnancy.


Webinar: Resources for Families Living with FASD: What's Out There?
Presented by Andy Kachor and Kathy Mitchell, this webinar will describe the range of resources for families living with FASD available from NOFAS and other sources. Strategies for accessing these resources is also discussed.


Implications of FASD for the Adoptive Family – NOFAS Webinar
Over one million children this country per year are delivered to women who have used alcohol or illicit drugs during pregnancy. Children available for domestic adoption make up a large proportion of these children, and children adopted internationally add significant numbers to this population. This session focuses on the structural and functional changes that occur in the fetal brain due to prenatal exposure to alcohol, how those changes interact with environmental issues to affect the child's ability to attach to his/her primary caregiver, and how the exposure impacts the child’s long term behaviour, learning, and social outcomes.


Preventing FASD
A new report by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy at the University of Manitoba finds the InSight Mentoring program is helping women with alcohol addictions make healthier choices while pregnant and once they’ve given birth. Dr Chelsea Ruth outlines the program.


Parental Expectations with an Adult Child Impacted by FASD
Mary Berube, an adoptive mother of two young men with FASD, provides insight into FASD beyond age 18 and how it affects the family and individual.


Comparing ODD, ADHD and FASD
A presentation by Dan Dubovsky comparing ODD, ADHD and FASD and the behaviours that accompany them.


Mental Health Disorders and FASD
Dan Dubovsky speaks about how typical treatments for mental health disorders are not appropriate if FASD is a co-occurring diagnosis.


The Approach
Dan Dubovsky speaks about an approach that we all need to use in our work with individuals with FASD.


Brain Podcast
On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Rajesh Miranda (Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Texas A&M University) talk about fetal alcohol syndrome. Rajesh is passionate about finding ways to help those who fall on the spectrum of this syndrome by uncovering the ways alcohol interacts with the development of the fetal brain.


The 7 Questions We Hear Most Often as a Family-By-Adoption
"November is National Adoption Month, or National Adoption Awareness Month, and to celebrate, I'd like to share with you the adoption questions my family hears most frequently – and my answers. I have found the people are genuinely curious about adoption, but they often fumble through asking questions, or present those questions in the form of stereotypes. Families like mine aren't necessarily turned off by questions, but how, when, and where you ask your question is important. Remember, our children are right beside us, listening and learning."

International News and Media

Detailed picture emerges of adverse effects of prenatal alcohol exposure [USA]

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) cause a huge public health burden through economic, societal, educational, family, health and medical home impact. Both alcohol consumption and binge drinking during pregnancy continue to occur, despite federally mandated alcohol product warning labels, public health advisory campaigns and measureable improvements in public education and awareness. The results are a fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) prevalence rate of up to 1% of births and the larger FASD category having a prevalence rate of at least 5%.
 
Compulsory warning labels for pregnant women are to appear on all bottles of alcohol from next year under new health laws. Health Minister Leo Varadkar plans to impose a number of mandatory warnings and information labels on drinks under the new legislation, which will be among the most far-reaching laws in Europe.
 
The "Adoption Paradox" research presented by the Institute for Family Studies demonstrates that while adoptive parents seemingly put more effort into their children and have better educations, adopted children have the poorest behavioural and academic outcomes in kindergarten and first grade. The research was covered in a comprehensive article … but it failed to even mention by name the most common cause of congenital neurological deficits, as though it plays only a minor role in this so-called adoption paradox. "Not one mention of FASD," one mother exclaimed on social media, shocked that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders wasn't brought up even a single time.
 
On June 23, 2000, Lisa Glasgow and her husband adopted 12-month-old Anzhella and her older brother Robert from Russia. When Glasgow met her daughter for the first time, she knew she wasn't healthy, but she wasn't going to walk away from the adoption. She didn't know it at the time, but Anzhella was a victim of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. "When you get the diagnosis or realize your child has a disability, you aren't ever emotionally or financially prepared," Glasgow said. "When I was asked if I wanted to adopt her I felt it was meant to be, that I would become the parent that she needs."
 
Nora Boesem's living room is a window into the sad and chaotic world of fetal alcohol syndrome: kids born with physical deformities and organs that didn't develop fully; kids with lifelong learning disabilities and brains that don't comprehend the consequences of risky and mean acts. This is also a place where the unseen consequences of the rampant alcoholism on nearby Indian reservations come into sharp focus. Consequences that transcend any public policy debate and can mean lifelong physical and emotional problems for children, the innocent victims of an ugly addiction.
 
Don't drink while pregnant – it's just not worth it, says a new paper published in the British Medical Journal. "Alcohol is not essential to the health or well-being of a pregnant woman and is known to be harmful to her baby," wrote retired paediatrician Dr. Mary Mather, and Kate Wiles, an obstetrics research fellow at Guys and St. Thomas National Health Service Trust hospital in England. "The only ethical advice that can be given is complete abstinence from alcohol in pregnancy."
 
The UK's chief medical officer is considering lowering the safe level of alcohol consumption and advising pregnant women not to drink at all. Dame Sally Davies is currently review [sic] guidelines on how much alcohol is healthy to drink. The current recommendations have been used since they were issued in the government report entitled 'Sensible Drinking' was published in 1995.
 
Following three to four years of dealing with infertility issues, Gail Ellis and her husband decided to explore adoption options. Following this decision, the couple began a process of looking at agencies, working with agencies, going through training and then a waiting period. The adoption [of their son] was finalized when he was 11 months old. As time went on, Ellis learned more of her son's birth mom and of the illegal substances common in the home.
 
A new campaign was launched in Edmonton today [Oct 21], aimed at helping expectant mothers stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The creators say "Here for Her" is a non-judgmental way of convincing pregnant women not to endanger their babies. Canadian Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network Executive Director Dr. Amy Salmon says, "For 30 years we've been saying 'don't drink while pregnant', but the same research shows that about 18% of women are still drinking when they know they are pregnant. It's not that we think the message isn't getting through … research shows that some expectant mothers drink because they lack the personal or social support needed during a very stressful period in their lives, or may be suffering from addiction."
 
Seeing the effects of alcohol on men, women and children drove John Maisch to do something to fight alcoholism. "I spent five years as the assistant liquor prosecutor in the state of Oklahoma, and I've seen the impact on the tribal culture," Maisch said. "And I've see how it's affected Pine Ridge Indian Reservation."
 
A $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will help researchers at The University of Texas at Austin's School of Social Work test a health intervention to reduce fetal exposure to alcohol, marijuana and tobacco during early pregnancy. The CHOICES4Health intervention, developed by Dr. Mary M. Velasquez, Dr. Kirk von Sternberg and colleagues at the university's Health Behavior Research and Training Institute, will compare an interactive, tablet-based prevention approach with brief in-person counselling designed to reach preconception women during routine visits for primary care, and increase their motivation to change behaviors that could result in substance-exposed pregnancies.
 
One person can make a difference. That’s the message being spread by Craig Peterson and his adopted son, Andrew, 22, and Michael, 21, both of whom are affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
 
Researchers measures 26 cost components to estimate the total cost imposed by excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. They found that the total cost of excessive drinking hit $1,52 per capita in D.C.. – higher than any of the 50 states. The per capita cost to government of excessive drinking in Washington, D.C., was $619, or 87 cents for every drink poured in the nation's capital.
 
Like a bad hangover, the debate over drinking during pregnancy lingers, with some people citing past research that suggests moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to expectant mothers. One rationale: It’s good for their mental health. That's probably reassuring news to the estimated one in 10 pregnant women who say they continue to drink (3 percent say they binge drink), but the hard fact is that alcohol consumption is almost indisputably bad for the unborn child.
 
Northern Ontario is the testing ground for a new program for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. People can apply for a MedicAlert bracelet identifying them as having the brain condition. This pilot project is being headed up by the North Shore Tribal Council and Anishnabek Police. Constable Cindy Hourtovenko said if an officer knows someone has FASD, they'd be able to handle them differently.
 
"In my work as a neonatologist, I've looked after many, many babies. Yet, too often, I still see mothers who use alcohol during pregnancy, despite extensive educational campaigns about its harmful effects on the growing fetus. It's easy to judge, but the truth is, consistently practising healthy behaviours is not as simple as it sounds. There are often many barriers that may affect a person's ability to do what they know they should."

 

Latest Research

FASD and the Concept of "Intellectual Disability Equivalence" [PDF]
Greenspan S., Novick Brown N. and Edwards W., Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Adults: Ethical and Legal Perspectives, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-20866-4_15
This paper introduces a new approach–going beyond IQ–that would recognize FASD within legal and government definitions of developmental disability and intellectual disability.


A Metacognitive Strategy for Reducing Disruptive Behavior in Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: GoFAR Pilot
Coles CD., Kable JA,. Taddeo E., and Strickland DC., Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 7 October 2015, doi: 10.1111/acer.12885
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are often characterized by disruptive behaviour problems and there are few effective interventions available. GoFAR is a novel, 3-part intervention designed to improve self-regulation and adaptive living skills of children with FASD by improving metacognitive control of emotions and arousal. The results of this study of the GoFAR intervention show that parental reports of disruptive behaviour overall was significantly reduced in the GoFAR group, with no changes in the Control group over time.


Choline supplementation in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Wozniak JR., Fuglestad AJ., Eckerle JK., Fink BA., Hoecker HL., Boys CJ., Radke JP., Kroupina MG., Miller NC., Brearley AM., Zeisel SH., and Georgieff MK., The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition., 7 October 2015, doi: 10.945/ajcn.14.099168
The primary goal of this study was to determine whether postnatal choline supplementation has the potential to improve neurocognitive functioning, particularly hippocampal-dependent memory, in children with FASDs. Participants received a dose on 88% of enrolled days. This pilot study suggests that an additional evaluation of choline supplementation as an intervention for memory functioning in children with FASDs is warranted. The observed interaction between age and choline's effect on EI suggests that potential sensitive periods should be considered in future work.


Integrating care for individuals with FASD: results from a multi-stakeholder symposium
Masotti P., Longstaffe S., Gammon H., Isbister J., Maxwell B., and Hanlon-Dearman A., BMC Health Services Research, 5 October 2015, doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1113-8
A consensus generating symposium was conducted, comprised of 60 experts from different stakeholder groups. Question addressed barriers and solutions to integration across systems and group-specific and system-wide research priorities. Solutions and consensus on prioritized lists were generated by combining the Electronic Meeting System approach with a modified 'Nominal Group Technique'. Results from the symposium suggested FASD capacity (e.g. training, education, awareness) needs to be increased in both medical and non-medical providers.


Identifying children who are at risk of FASD in Peterborough: working in a community clinic without access to gold standard diagnosis
Gregory G., and Reddy V., Adoption & Fostering, October 2015, doi: 10.1177/0308575915594985
The number of UK children seen with complex behaviour difficulties where there is a history of exposure to alcohol and/or drugs prenatally appears to be increasing at an alarming rate. Community paediatricians work with vulnerable children and also act as medical advisers to adoption panels, so they have a unique overview of the unmet needs of looked after children affected by FASD. This article reports on two simple audits of children seen in a community paediatric clinic setting.


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Potential Role of Endocannabinoids Signaling
Basavarajappa BS., Brain Sciences, 29 October 2015, doi: 10.3390/brainsci5040456
One of the unique features of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans is impaired cognitive and behavioural function resulting from damage to the central nervous system (CNS), which leads to a spectrum of impairments referred to as FASD. Human FASD phenotypes can be reproduced in the rodent CNS following prenatal ethanol exposure. In this review, the author discusses the mechanisms that are associated with FASD and provides a current status on the endocannabinoid system in the development of FASD.


Retrospective assessment of prenatal alcohol exposure by detection of phosphatidylethanol in stored dried blood spot cards: An objective method for determining prevalence rates of alcohol consumption during pregnancy
Baldwin A., Jones J., Jones M., Plate C., and Lewis D., The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, November 2015, doi: 10.7895/ijadr.vXiY.209
This study set out to analyse the efficacy of screening banked newborn dried blood spots for detection of phosphatidylethanol (PEth), a direct alcohol biomarker, with the purpose of performing a retrospective assessement of statewide prevalence rates of alcohol consumption in late pregnancy that results in risky prenatal alcohol exposure. Two hundred and fifty anonymous newborn DBS collected for routine metabolic screening in a Midwestern state were requested through the Virtual Repository of Dried Blood Spots. Of the 250 DBS examined, 4% were positive for PEth which is indicative of exposure to maternal alcohol consumption during the last month of pregnancy.


Fetal Alcohol Exposure Reduces Dopamine Receptor D2 and Increases Pituitary Weight and Prolactin Production via Epigenetic Mechanisms
Gangisetty O., Wyne O., Jabbar S., Nasello C., and Sarkar DK., PLoS one, 28 October 2015, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140699
Recent evidence indicated that alcohol exposure during the fetal period increases the susceptibility to tumor development in mammary and prostate tissues. Whether fetal alcohol exposure increases the susceptibility to prolactin-producing tumor (prolactinoma) development in the pituitary was studied by employing the animal model of estradiol-induced prolactinomas in Fischer 344 female rats. Results from the data collected suggest that fetal alcohol exposure programs the pituitary to increase the susceptibility to the development of prolactinomas possibly by enhancing the methylation of the D2R gene promoter and repressing the synthesis and control of D2R on PRL-producing cells.


Abnormal Eating Behaviors Are Common in Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Amos-Kroohs, Robyn M. et al. The Journal of Pediatrics, 19th November 2015.
This research examined abnormal eating patterns in children with FASD which may influence delayed growth and nutritional inadequacies. There may be connections with poor impulse control and diet counselling might be advised. Likewise, a high appetite for food/excessive hunger (hyperphagia) may warrant a referral for FASD screening.

Upcoming Events

AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND
Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council (ATDC) 2016 Conference – Hobart, Tasmania
DATE: 12-13th May 2016
DETAILS: The theme for the 2016 Conference is Rethinking Prevention: a broader agenda. The theme encourages presenters and delegates to discuss how we support and provide prevention, treatment and harm reduction interventions in the current environment and into the future. Recognising preventative approaches at all levels of our work is one aspect of rethinking prevention. The conference will explore how we prevent harm in multiple ways, not only dealing with substance use activity. The fundamental question of how to ensure integration between policy, practice and research will underpin the conference program, guaranteeing a stimulating two days for all attendees.

 
DATE: 18-20th May 2016
DETAILS: The Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will include workshops, presentations and forums dedicated to sharing skills and understanding in the treatment of all addictive disorders, including alcohol and other drugs, behavioural addictions, and the emerging field of online compulsive behaviour in both adults and children. A priority aim of this Conference will also be to deepen our understanding around the interrelationship of addictive disorders between each other, as well as with mental health, family, community and culture.
 
DATE: 20-22nd July 2016
DETAILS: Fast Forward – Shaping the future is a theme that promises to unveil a range of opportunities and possibilities for the alcohol and other drugs sector. Stay updated via the website for more information.
 
INTERNATIONAL
DATE: 6-8th April 2016
DETAILS: The US Alcohol Policy Alliance is pleased to partner with Project Extra Mile to bring you the seventeenth in a series of Alcohol Policy Conferences. The US Alcohol Policy Alliance was organized in recent years by advocates across the country and is a coalition of state coalitions working on alcohol policy and independent of commercial interests. As our voices intersect around what works in alcohol policy research and practice, we build the fierce urgency of now in a movement that calls for each of us to create and sustain effective efforts: to start, to make it happen, to stay the course for generations to come.

 

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