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Prenatal alcohol exposure and offspring cognition and school performance. A ‘Mendelian randomization’ natural experiment

Background There is substantial debate as to whether moderate alcohol use during pregnancy could have subtle but important effects on offspring, by impairing later cognitive function and thus school performance. The authors aimed to investigate the unconfounded effect of moderately increased prenatal alcohol exposure on cognitive/educational performance.

Conclusions Better offspring cognitive/educational outcomes observed in association with prenatal alcohol exposure presumably reflected residual confounding by factors associated with social position and maternal education. The unconfounded Mendelian randomization estimates suggest a small but potentially important detrimental effect of small increases in prenatal alcohol exposure, at least on educational outcomes.

Pregnant women who abuse drugs need compassion, not stigma: report

A new report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse says addiction is a disease and doctors need to treat women abusing substances during pregnancy with compassion, not further stigmatize them.

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New Crime Reduction Resource!

On Friday, November 1, 2013 as part of Crime Prevention Week, the “Gang Prevention – A Parent’s Quick Reference Guide” was launched.  The guide is a new resource created by the City of Surrey, Surrey RCMP and the AT-CURA Project at Surrey’s Kwantlen Polytchenic University and has been developed through the use of research and best practices.  Highlights of the guide include

Myles Himmelreich is a Canadian speaker that draws from his personal experience of living with FASD to inspire audiences.

Myles Himmelreich is a Canadian motivational speaker and mentor that draws from his personal experience of living with FASD to inspire audiences.  Myles resides in Calgary, Alberta, and lives with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Myles offers insight into his experiences, that include both the challenges and successes that he has faced. Myles has spoken to national and international audiences, motivating and captivating them, with his personal journey through life that includes his dealings with FASD.

Myles is a seasoned presenter that is able to speak to a number of different audiences such as working professionals in the mental health field; caregivers; researchers; policy makers; and other individuals with an interest in FASD or mental health. Myles story speaks volumes to any audience and will leave a lasting impact on your audience.

2013 Alberta FASD Conference

This important multidisciplinary conference is focused on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and its impact on individuals, families, communities and society at large. The conference will feature keynote presentations and over 30 breakout sessions on the latest practices in FASD prevention, assessment and support.

This conference will be of interest to: caregivers and families, individuals with FASD, teachers, teacher aides, social workers, nurses, speech language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, physicians, alcohol and drug workers, mental health workers, community workers, family support workers, program providers, vocational rehab service providers, elected officials, government ministries, lawyers and policy-makers.

Teen re-enacts 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' for a good cause

19 year old Aubrey Slack  recreated scenes from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in order to raise awareness about Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS.  It is a chronic illness that may be related to the challenges she lives with related to her FASD diangosis.

Thunder Bay bar unveils pregnancy test dispenser

A Thunder Bay bar is now first in Canada to offer pregnancy tests in its women's washroom. 

At $3 per test, they're also less expensive than pregnancy tests from the pharmacy.

Marilyn Leiterman of Healthy Brains for Children said the eye-catching dispensing machine provides much more than tests.

“The awareness component ... is huge,” she said. “It's absolutely crucial."

Leiterman said she hopes seeing the dispenser will prompt women to learn about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and to think about whether there's any possibility they could be pregnant before drinking.

FASD Survey for Caregivers on Nutrition

The University of Oklahoma is looking for volunteers to discuss their experiences in feeding their child with FASD in order to learn whether children with FASD have any difficulties with eating.  The goal is to develop nutrition education for caregivers and nutrition aids for children with FASD. 

If you are a caregiver of a child with FASD, ages 3 to 5 years old, you are invited to participate in an online survey, “Feeding My Child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders."  This important research will provide information to develop nutrition education for caregivers and nutrition care for children with FASD.

To participate in this online survey, go to

The Implications of Neuroplasticity for a Brain Affected by FASD

In this session published by The Alberta Learning Series, Dr. Bryan Kolb will review the principles of brain plasticity and brain development. He will discuss brain plasticity in a brain affected by FASD as well as the implications for interventions.


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