Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure on Cerebellum Development


Prenatal exposure to alcohol (ethanol) results in a continuum of physical, neurological, behavioral, and learning defects collectively grouped under the heading fetal alcohol spectrum disorders [5] (FASD). Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most severe combination of these defects under this heading, and is characterized by preand postnatal growth deficiencies, facial abnormalities, and defects of the central nervous system [6] (CNS). The developing brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxicity of ethanol, given the broad time frame of susceptibility from neurulation [7], when the neural tube [8] is formed, all the way through to birth. The cerebellum [9] is an area of the brain particularly vulnerable to prenatal ethanol exposure. Mechanisms proposed for this drastic reduction [10] in brain cells include apoptosis [11], oxidative stress, and damage to the radial glia [12] stem cell progenitor pool. Physical dexterity, coordination, and visuospatial processing are all affected by these stressors, and eyeblink classical conditioning [13] tests have proven that ethanol-induced damage goes beyond motor coordination by permanently impacting learning and memory.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Qin2017EffectsOP, title={Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure on Cerebellum Development}, author={Yue - Qin Qin and Joann Labruyere and Brian Nemmers and John W . Olney}, year={2017} }