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Latest rffada and FASD News

October News Roundup

I Australian News

  1. Update – Application A576 – Labelling of Alcoholic Beverages with a Pregnancy Health Advisory Label
  2. Western Australian “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Model of Care”
  3. DOHA research funding for FASD
  4. An update from the WA Child and Youth Health Network
  5. National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee Extract from September Communique 2010
  6. FASDAY 2010

II International News & Media Articles

  1. New Zealand Seminar – FASD and Justice: Screening, Assessment, Forensic Implications.
  2. Provincial Outreach Program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (POPFASD)
  3. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, new guidelines for addressing alcohol use in Pregnancy.
  4. Canadian Lawyers call for “decriminalization” of fetal alcohol offenders
  5. New Book – Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Its Effects on Hippocampal Anatomy and Function

III Latest FASD Research

  1. Women’s knowledge and attitudes regarding alcohol consumption in pregnancy: a national survey (Australian Research)
  2. Distinguishing between attention-deficit hyperactivity and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in children: clinical guidelines (Australian Research)
  3. Health professionals addressing alcohol use with pregnant women in Western Australia: barriers and strategies for communication. (Australian Research)
  4. A new study has created a preliminary neurobehavioral profile of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
  5. Damage From Binge-Drinking in Pregnancy Worsens With Age
  6. Journal articles from the National Institute on alcohol Abuse and alcoholism
  7. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Induces Long-Term Changes in Dendritic Spines and Synapses in the Mouse Visual Cortex
  8. Motor response programming and movement time in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure
  9. Fetal alcohol syndrome: knowledge and attitudes of family medicine clerkship and residency directors
  10. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders From Research to Policy
  11. An fMRI Study of Number Processing in Children With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  12. Investigating the Linkages between FASD, Gangs, Sexual Exploitation and Women Abuse in the Canadian Aboriginal Population: a Preliminary Study.

I Australian News

1. Update – Application A576 – Labelling of Alcoholic Beverages with a Pregnancy Health Advisory Label

Last year, the Australian New Zealand Food Authority advised that a Draft Assessment Report would be prepared mid 2010. As the independent Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy is also considering alcohol labelling, they have advised that they are delaying further consideration of this Application until the Review is completed. It is now anticipated that work will resume on this Application in 2011, following consideration of the outcomes of the Labelling Review by the Australia New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council and the Council of Australian Governments. Further information in relation to the Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy is available at http://www.foodlabellingreview.gov.au/internet/foodlabelling/publishing.nsf/content/home.

2. Western Australian “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Model of Care”

The WA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Model of Care, was developed by a team convened by the Department of Health's Child and Youth Health Network, including government agencies, health services and research organisations and uses information from a range of stakeholders. It contains a series of recommendations to guide agencies across government and the non–government sectors to prevent, diagnose and treat FASD. A copy of the publication is available at: Health Networks (PDF)

3. DOHA research funding for FASD

The following information has been forwarded to NOFASARD From Jane Sharman RN who is Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service

I would encourage anyone in your organization who is looking to research FASD to contact DOHA. The Commonwealth is becoming aware of this serious disorder via feedback from Alcohol & Drug conferences the judicial system and service providers. However they need good research to support, and fund, interventions.

4. An update from the WA Child and Youth Health Network

The Western Australia Commissioner for Children and Young People, Ms Michelle Scott, has announced an inquiry into the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. The purpose of the enquiry is to identify ways to effectively promote mental wellbeing and prevent, reduce and treat mental health problems among children and young people from birth to adolescence.

The inquiry will consider the whole spectrum of children and young people’s mental health needs, including promotion, prevention and intervention programs from the very early years of a child’s life.

Written submissions are invited from professionals, government and community organisations and members of the public, including children, young people and their families, to inform the inquiry. The submission period is now open and closes on Monday 1 November 2010.

For further information please go to the Commissioner’s website

5. National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee Extract from September Communiqué 2010

NIDAC welcomed Australian Government funding for the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) to develop culturally appropriate resources to assist professionals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait health care settings to address the issues of alcohol and pregnancy and FASD. Members also welcomed the funding provided to conduct a study into the prevalence and impact of FASD on Indigenous children in Fitzroy Valley, WA.

6. FASDAY 2010

This year the Alcohol Education Rehabilitation Foundation teamed up with NOFASARD and Telethon Institute for Child Health Research to put out a joint press released for FASDAY. Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, there was no media uptake.

On a brighter note – In Esperance, Wazza & Shirlene Harvey and their band of helpers handed out over 1000 chocolate bars with alcohol & pregnancy messages attached – eg Picnic bars – “Parenting a child with FASD...is no picnic!! This Picnic will be gone in a minute but FASD is permanent. Don’t Drink Alcohol During Pregnancy!”

Timeout bars – “Take timeout from drinking during Pregnancy. Timeout from drinking will last only 9 months; FASD last a lifetime!! Parents with FASD kids struggle to take timeout.”

The local high school in Esperance also put on a morning tea and raised about $100.

A big thank you to Wazza & Shirlene and the Esperance Community for their support!!!

II International news and media articles

1. New Zealand Seminar - FASD and Justice: Screening, Assessment, Forensic Implications.

NOFASARD’s Tas rep, Vicki Russell from the Drug Education Network in Tasmania attended this Seminar. If you would like a copy of her report please contact her at vicki [at] den.org.au

2. Provincial Outreach Program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (POPFASD)

Their mandate is to help teachers in the province of British Columbia who have students with FASD, but our website and elearning videos are free to the world.

http://www.fasdoutreach.ca/

3. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, new guidelines for addressing alcohol use in Pregnancy.

The new guidelines are based on a two-year review of scientific evidence regarding possible harm to a fetus. They recommend that since there is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, all women of childbearing age, and not just pregnant women, should be screened about how much alcohol they drink, The Canadian Association of Midwives, the Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women's Health Nurses, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and Motherisk also endorsed the document.

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/alcohol-use-pregnancy.html

4. Canadian Lawyers call for “decriminalization” of fetal alcohol offenders

People who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome and commit criminal offences don’t belong in jail, Canada’s largest lawyers’ organization says. At its annual meeting the Canadian Bar Association’s governing council urged the federal, provincial and territorial governments to fund resources for alternatives to incarceration. Their resolution can be read here

http://www.cba.org/CBA/resolutions/pdf/10-02-A.pdf

5. New Book — Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Its Effects on Hippocampal Anatomy and Function

This book provides evidence in support of the hypothesis that prenatal alcohol/ethanol exposure (PAE) interferes with normal development and function of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is viewed as a target for early (prenatal) aversive events, such as PAE. Early life events are complex and interact with genetic factors in a manner which is not yet fully understood but which can profoundly change the structure and function of the hippocampus. This is not surprising as the hippocampus plays a crucial role not only in learning, memory storage and retrieval but also in controlling the stress response.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616689226/ref=pe_5050_16884910_snp_dp

III Latest FASD Research

1. Women’s knowledge and attitudes regarding alcohol consumption in pregnancy: a national survey (Australian Research)

Of women surveyed, 61.5% had heard about effects of alcohol on the fetus and 55.3% had heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Although 92.7% agreed alcohol can affect the unborn child, 16.2% did not agree that the disabilities could be lifelong. Most women agreed that pregnant women should not drink alcohol (80.2%) and 79.2% reported having negative feelings towards pregnant women drinking alcohol. Women with higher education levels were more likely to know the effects of alcohol consumption in pregnancy (adjusted OR 5.62; 95% CI 3.20 to 9.87) but education level and knowledge were not associated with attitude.

Conclusions: There was a disjunction between knowledge and attitudes towards alcohol consumption in pregnancy. These findings will assist in developing effective health promotion campaigns to reduce fetal alcohol exposure and subsequent fetal damage.

Available online http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/10/510

2. Distinguising between attention-deficit hyperactivity and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in children: clinical guidelines (Australian Research)

Peadon E & Elliott E 2010 Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease & Treatment Dove Press 11th August 2010

Available online www.dovepress.com/getfile.php?fileID=7350

3. Health professionals addressing alcohol use with pregnant women in Western Australia: barriers and strategies for communication. (Australian Research)

Health professionals have an important role to play in preventing prenatal alcohol exposure. In 2006 qualitative data were collected from 53 health professionals working in primary care in metropolitan and regional Western Australia. Thematic analysis was used to elucidate barriers in addressing prenatal alcohol use and the strategies used to overcome them. Health professionals identified strategies for obtaining alcohol use information from pregnant women but they are not recognizing moderate alcohol intake in pregnant women. Study limitations are noted and the implications of the results are discussed. Centre for Child Health Research, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, West Perth, WA, Australia.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20590371

4. Creating a preliminary neurobehavioral profile of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

A new study has created a preliminary neurobehavioral profile of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621173725.htm

5. Damage From Binge-Drinking in Pregnancy Worsens With Age

Older women who binge-drink when pregnant are at higher risk for having children with permanent alcohol-related brain damage, new research finds.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_101327.html

6. Journal articles from the National Institute on alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

NIAAA archives all its publications...there are two journals dedicated to FAS as well as numerous articles on other alcohol subjects...you can search titles and there is ordering information on their site.

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/Publications/AlcoholResearch/

7. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Induces Long-Term Changes in Dendritic Spines and Synapses in the Mouse Visual Cortex

Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with long-term changes in dendritic spines and synaptic ultra structure; these alterations probably reflect the developmental retardation of dendritic spines and synapses in visual cortex. These long-term changes are likely to contribute to lifelong mental retardation associated with childhood FASDs.

http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/45/4/312.abstract

8. Motor response programming and movement time in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure

The observed results indicate children with FAS experience deficits in response programming and movement time production.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20598488

9. Fetal alcohol syndrome: knowledge and attitudes of family medicine clerkship and residency directors

Health care professionals in the USA do not routinely assess the frequency and quantity of alcohol use by their patients. This study examined the knowledge, skills, and practices of family medicine residency and clerkship directors and assessed the time devoted and format of FAS curricula in the programs.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20056372

10. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders From Research to Policy

The worldwide prevalence and high personal and societal costs of FASD speak to the importance of this research. This article briefly examines some of the ways that NIAAA has contributed to our understanding of FASD, the challenges that we still face, and how this research is translated into changes in public policy. From Alcohol Research & Health Vol. 33, Nos. 1 and 2, 2010

Full report available online http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh40/118-126.pdf

11. An fMRI Study of Number Processing in Children With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Number processing deficits are frequently seen in children exposed to alcohol in utero. The data from this study suggest that, whereas control children rely primarily on the fronto-parietal network identified in previous studies to mediate number processing, children with FAS/PFAS recruit a broader range of brain regions to perform these relatively simple number processing tasks. Our results are consistent with structural neuro-imaging findings indicating that the parietal lobe is relatively more affected by prenatal alcohol exposure and provide the first evidence for brain activation abnormalities during number processing in children with FAS/PFAS, effects that persist even after controlling statistically for group differences in total intracranial volume and IQ. From: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01230.x/abstract

12. Investigating the Linkages between FASD, Gangs, Sexual Exploitation and Women Abuse in the Canadian Aboriginal Population: a Preliminary Study.

Abstract: There is an epidemic of Aboriginal youth gang violence in some parts of Canada today, and young Aboriginal gang members are killing each other and committing suicide at rates that exceed those of any other group in Canada. This paper provides an overview of the current situation, and describes five major pathways to violent gang involvement for Aboriginal youth. It then goes on to describe and critique the use of approaches that have been proven not to work. It argues for a shift to a public health approach that addresses the pathways to gang violence, and describes some evidence-based models that have been proven to work. The conclusion is that a failure to act now will result in things getting much worse very shortly since the Aboriginal birth rate is exploding and the population at risk in many areas will double within the next decade.

http://www.nwac.ca/sites/default/files/imce/NWAC%20FASD%20SexExplGangs%202009.pdf

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