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20 - 04 - 2017

Detecting and treating foetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Almost one in every 100 children suffer from fetal alcohol related disorder (behavioural disorders, learning disabilities). Inserm researchers are studying the mechanisms of alcohol toxicity to find an indicator of brain injury at birth and a treatment.

By studying of dead fetal tissues in utero and mouse models, they have shown how alcohol disrupts the development of blood vessels in the brain. They found in vitro that rapamycin, an immunosuppressive drug, partially protected the cells of the vessels and could constitute a treatment if used early enough.

Research is ongoing, but the best prevention is to exclude alcohol altogether during pregnancy.