Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are a collection of clinical diagnoses that may affect an individual who was exposed to alcohol in-utero.
These diagnoses are:
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) was the first form of FASD discovered and is the most well-known. Heavy alcohol use during the first trimester of pregnancy can disrupt normal development of the face and the brain. In fact, exposure at any point during gestation may affect brain development.
An FAS diagnosis requires:
» Evidence of prenatal alcohol exposure
» Evidence of central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities (structural or functional)
» A specific pattern of three facial abnormalities: narrow eye openings, a smooth area between the lip and the nose (vs. the normal ridge), and a thin upper lip
» Growth deficits either prenatally, after birth, or both
Partial FAS (pFAS)
Partial FAS (pFAS) involves prenatal alcohol exposure, and includes some, but not all, of the characteristics of full FAS.
Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
A diagnosis of Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) requires evidence of both prenatal alcohol exposure and CNS abnormalities, which may be structural or functional. Functional abnormalities may involve a complex pattern of cognitive or behavioral problems that are not consistent with developmental level, and that cannot be explained by factors other than prenatal alcohol exposure (e.g., family background, environment, and other toxicities). Facial abnormalities and growth retardation need not be present.
Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD) This disorder includes medical conditions linked to prenatal alcohol exposure such as: heart, kidney, and bone problems and other malformations; difficulty seeing and hearing; and reduced immune function. Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD) is rarely seen alone but rather as a secondary disorder accompanying other FASD conditions (e.g., FAS and ARBD).
Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE) Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE) is a new psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM–5. It requires evidence of both prenatal alcohol exposure and CNS involvement, as indicated by impairments in the following three areas: cognition, self-regulation, and adaptive functioning. This new diagnosis for use by mental health professionals will improve understanding of the multifaceted behavioral deficits seen in some people exposed to alcohol prenatally, and facilitate improved diagnosis and treatment of these individuals.
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