Atypical fetal development

Fetal alcohol syndrome, nutritional deprivation, teratogens, and risk for neurodevelopmental disorders and psychopathology

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Abstract

Accumulating evidence indicates that the fetal environment plays an important role in brain development and sets the brain on a trajectory across the life span. An abnormal fetal environment results when factors that should be present during a critical period of development are absent or when factors that should not be in the developing brain are present. While these factors may acutely disrupt brain function, the real cost to society resides in the long-term effects, which include important mental health issues. We review the effects of three factors, fetal alcohol exposure, teratogen exposure, and nutrient deficiencies, on the developing brain and the consequent risk for developmental psychopathology. Each is reviewed with respect to the evidence found in epidemiological and clinical studies in humans as well as preclinical molecular and cellular studies that explicate mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1086
Number of pages24
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

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Teratogens
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Fetal Development
Psychopathology
Brain
Epidemiologic Studies
Mental Health
Alcohols
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Costs and Cost Analysis
Food

Cite this

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