Prenatal and Postnatal Choline Supplementation in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Abigail M. Ernst, Blake A. Gimbel, Erik de Water, Judith K. Eckerle, Joshua P. Radke, Michael K. Georgieff, Jeffrey R. Wozniak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is common and represents a significant public health burden, yet very few interventions have been tested in FASD. Cognitive deficits are core features of FASD, ranging from broad intellectual impairment to selective problems in attention, executive functioning, memory, visual–perceptual/motor skills, social cognition, and academics. One potential intervention for the cognitive impairments associated with FASD is the essential nutrient choline, which is known to have numerous direct effects on brain and cognition in both typical and atypical development. We provide a summary of the literature supporting the use of choline as a neurodevelopmental intervention in those affected by prenatal alcohol. We first discuss how alcohol interferes with normal brain development. We then provide a comprehensive overview of the nutrient choline and discuss its role in typical brain development and its application in the optimi-zation of brain development following early insult. Next, we review the preclinical literature that provides evidence of choline’s potential as an intervention following alcohol exposure. Then, we review a handful of existing human studies of choline supplementation in FASD. Lastly, we con-clude with a review of practical considerations in choline supplementation, including dose, formu-lation, and feasibility in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number688
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: Wozniak and Georgieff received funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: R21AA019580, R33AA019580; R01AA024123 and R56AA024123.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Brain
  • Choline
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Randomized controlled trials

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


Dive into the research topics of 'Prenatal and Postnatal Choline Supplementation in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this