Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Linked to Epilepsy

KINGSTON, Ontario, April 12 (UPI) — Canadian medical scientists say children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder show a very high prevalence of developing epilepsy and having seizures.

The researchers, led by Queen’s University, said they also discovered individuals were more likely to have epilepsy, or a history of seizures, if exposure to alcohol had occurred during the first trimester or throughout the entire pregnancy.

“There are very few studies that have examined the relationship between seizures and epilepsy among individuals with FASD,” said study co-author James Reynolds, a pharmacology, toxicology and neuroscience researcher at Queen’s University. “The consensus recommendation of scientists, clinicians and public health officials around the world is very clear — a woman should abstain from drinking during pregnancy as part of an overall program of good prenatal health care that includes good nutrition, adequate exercise, and sufficient rest.”

The study that included scientists from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto and the Toronto Western Research Institute is to be published in the June issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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