Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New University of Victoria research shows that exercise can improve the brain function of people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Good on the Saanich News for putting this story out there - the official statistic is that FASD affects about one per cent of the babies born in any given year in Canada, but an anonymous screening of newborns at a Toronto hospital a while back put that figure at three per cent.
It's a miserable brain injury at its worst, as it affects the child's ability to measure risk and learn from experience long into adulthood.
Those most affected by FASD do poorly in school, run into trouble with authority figures, are at higher risk of homelessness and addiction, and risk their own life and limbs on a regular basis due to poor decision-making. We saw a lot of people with FASD - some diagnosed, many we just suspected - during my time at PEERS among the most multi-barriered women working the outdoor stroll.
So it's a happy day to hear of a simple exercise regimen that helps people manage after the fact. But of course, FASD is completely preventable, so I hope we also do more to spread the word about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol remains the most damaging of the recreational drugs to use while pregnant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'Exercise tends to lead to the production of more new cells in the brain and you tend to have an increase in cognitive capacity.'

I wonder if this holds true for Down syndrome babies too?
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From 2009: "Christie and his team are now looking at the effects of different amounts of alcohol at various stages of pregnancy." - this will make for some interesting reading when it's finished.