Effects of Alcohol and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Essay

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Effects of Alcohol and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
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Alcohol plays a major role in society today. It is constantly being in our minds through advertisements, whether its commercials or billboards, holidays, or even just at the popular social scene. Alcohol is consumed for many purposes, such as celebrations, to increase romance, out of boredom, or a way to relax. Alcohol is a drug that is depended upon by the majority of our society. Nonetheless, alcohol has very damaging effects, not only does it cause self-inflicted diseases resembling alcoholism or cirrhosis of the liver, but it harms unborn fetuses as well. Many women drink alcohol when they do not even know that they are pregnant yet. Alcohol can cause
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A small brain, learning disabilities, short attention span, hyperactivity in childhood, and poor body, hand, and finger coordination are examples of CNS handicaps.(NIAAA, p.1) Mental handicaps and hyperactivity are probably the most debilitating aspects of FAS.(Streissguth,

Children with FAS also suffer from facial abnormalities. These abnormalities include: small eye openings, drooping eyelids, short upturned nose, thin upper lip, and low set or poorly formed ears. (NIAAA, p.1) These facial patterns distinguish children with FAS/FAE from normal children, however they are not harshly malformed.

A more serious and life threatening symptom of FAS is organ deformities.
This includes heart defects, heart murmurs, genital malformities, as well as urinary and kidney defects. Abnormal thyroid functioning and a decrease in the effectiveness of the immune system are also present in infants exposed to alcohol. What about paternal alcohol consumption? Alcohol may affect fetal development through a direct effect on the father's sperm or gonads. Studies have shown that children with alcoholic fathers often experience cognitive abilities and have a greater chance of being hyperactive. These findings were found in adoption cases, where the biological father was an alcoholic and the child was raised by nonalcoholic parents.(Cicero,p.3)

FAE is a broad term covering a wide range of success levels, from mild
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