Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Disrupts Brain Circuitry

Prenatal exposure to alcohol severely disrupts major features of brain development that potentially lead to increased anxiety and poor motor function, conditions typical in humans with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Riverside.

Study reviews research into beneficial effects of choline supplementation

A recently published study in The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research looks at research that indicates choline supplementation (either prenatally or postnatally) attenuates several behavioral effects associated with prenatal or neonatal ethanol exposure. 

One conclusion it reaches is that while abstaining from alcohol consumption is obviously the best preventive measure for FASD and FAS, it is recognized that therapeutic approaches would be valuable. The observations that choline, which is easily available and safe, can ameliorate some developmental neurotoxic effects of ethanol, in particular hippocampus-mediated behaviors, make this compound an ideal candidate for such endeavors.

Exploring the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Northwest Territories of Canada: Brightening our home fires

A study exploring the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder from a woman's health perspective was recently published in The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research.  Recognizing that research on the prevention of FASD is a sensitive topic due to stigma associated with alcohol use during pregnancy, women’s health and FASD prevention were identified as the focus of the research, as they are deeply intertwined topics.

The research took place in Yellowknife, NT and was focused on eight women living in a homeless centre.  The participation action research project utilized Photovoice as a primary methodology to approach the topic of FASD prevention in the Northwest Territories  from a women's health lens.

New process to simplify youth disability assistance in BC

There is a new simplified application process for young people with developmental disabilities who are applying for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) assistance, introduced recently.

Youth and their families can now use an existing assessment by a registered psychologist or certified school psychologist. and they can apply online.  For more information, watch this video!

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.

Jasmine Suarez-O'Connor on living with FASD

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

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.

Read more:

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.