A group of experts on
fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), organized by the National Institute on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), has produced proposed clinical guidelines
for diagnosing FASD, which can result when a mother drinks during pregnancy.
The new guidelines clarify and expand upon widely used guidelines issued in
2005, which were the first to help clinicians distinguish among the four
distinct subtypes of FASD described by the Institute of Medicine. The updated
guidelines, developed over one year by a cadre of experts in the field, are
based on analysis of 10,000 individuals involved in studies of prenatal alcohol
exposure funded by NIAAA, part of the National Institutes of Health.