Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Stress

Stress is a normal part of our daily lives and certain amounts of stress are important to help us function. Small doses of stress help us meet deadlines, get to places on time, and prepare for important events. However, long-term stress can be harmful and can lead to mental and physical health problems, like depression, substance use issues, and stroke.

Article Summary #4: Characterizing adverse prenatal and postnatal experiences

Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is known to cause negative outcomes for individuals exposed. However, the majority of people with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) are also exposed to other prenatal or postnatal factors that may negatively impact their physical and mental health, including exposure to other substances, toxic stress, lack of resources, abuse, and neglect. These factors can interact with one another, leading to unexpected or cumulative negative effects on health outcomes.

Article Summary #3: Forty Years of Assessing the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Early life assessment of neurodevelopment and behaviour (NDB) can facilitate timely and meaningful intervention for young children at risk of negative outcomes. In the current study, researchers reviewed the literature to examine what has been learned over the last forty years about NDB difficulties in children with PAE in the first 2 years of life.

Issue Paper: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Adversity

The combination of this brain-based stress sensitivity along with chronic adverse experiences can create significant challenges for individuals with FASD and their families, warranting special consideration and support.