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Diagnosis and management of foetal alcohol specturm disorder

Mukherjee, Raja A.S.

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: March 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 92–96
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000479

Purpose of review Our understanding of the diagnosis and management of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), has been increasingly refined in the last 45 years: This review highlights current understanding and identifies future areas for research.

Recent findings Newer techniques such as three-dimensional facial recognition and advanced brain imaging, have advanced our understanding. Despite this, there remain areas, such as the relationship with other neurodevelopmental disorders, that have been insufficiently explored. Understanding the unique management approaches required is still in its infancy. However, progress is being made to treat specific aspects in FASD.

Summary Foetal alcohol syndrome has progressed from identification primarily through recognition of physical stigmata, to a broad understanding of neurocognitive function in the full spectrum of alcohol exposure. Understanding of neurocognitive functioning has helped to define a specific phenotype to delineate FASD from other neurodevelopmental disorders. This review explores some of these areas and demonstrates how the field has changed since its recognition 45 years ago.

FASD Specialist Behaviour Clinic, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Redhill, UK

Correspondence to Raja A.S. Mukherjee, Consultant Psychiatrist and Lead Clinician, FASD Specialist Behaviour Clinic, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Gatton Place, St Matthews Rd, Redhill RH1 1TA, UK. Tel: +44 01737 288813; e-mail:

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