Possible treatment for fetal alcohol damage after birth

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

best-vancouver-naturopathTwo commonly used drugs erased the learning and memory deficits caused by fetal alcohol exposure when the drugs were given after birth, thus potentially identifying a treatment for the disorder, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

The scientists also newly identified a key molecular mechanism by which alcohol neurologically and developmentally harms the developing fetus.

“We’ve shown you can interfere after the damage from alcohol is done. That’s huge,” said lead investigator and senior author Eva Redei. “We have identified a potential treatment for alcohol spectrum disorder. Currently, there is none.”

Redei is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the David Lawrence Stein Research Professor of Psychiatric Diseases Affecting Children and Adolescents.

The Northwestern study was in rat pups, and the scientists are trying to raise funds for a clinical trial.

In the United States, 1 to 5 percent of children…

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ALberta Health Services: Trauma Informed Care

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project


Many of the people we interact with every day have been affected by overwhelming stress or traumatic experiences. Traumatic experiences change a person and can create turmoil within a person and in their life. This is especially true if events and/or conditions happen in childhood.

The consequences of trauma are far reaching and can be directly or indirectly linked to mental illness, addictions, chronic disease, suicide, and overall, a failure to thrive.

The purpose of the Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Project is to increase knowledge about trauma and the impact it has by creating connection, sharing knowledge and resources. TIC offers resources for individuals who help those impacted by trauma provide patient centred care.

This section will have 6 separate buttons for each module and will link to the external hosting site.

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The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 4.55.17 PMClick to download Recruitment Letter


Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Christian Beaulieu, PhD; Carmen Rasmussen, PhD; Gail Andrew, MD; Derek Emery, MD

We are conducting a research study using advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) methods to learn about brain development. We want to determine if the brain develops differently in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and to understand more about the brain areas affected by alcohol exposure in the womb.

We are recruiting participants with an FASD diagnosis who are 5 years of age and older. The study involves an MRI of the brain (~40 mins), followed by cognitive testing (~35 min) done on an iPad. The study takes ~2 hours in total, and is conducted at the University of Alberta Hospital.

MRI does not use ionizing radiation (unlike CT scans or x-rays) and has no known harmful…

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Lakeland Centre for FASD- Summer Camps

The Lakeland Centre for FASD will be hosting 6  week long camps between July and August. The camp is held at our  Lakeland Camp facility on Cold Lake just outside of Cold Lake, Alberta.


2017 Camp Dates

  • Our summer Camp for 2016 was a great success, please check out our upcoming 2017 Summer camp dates!

#1(Girls 7-10)
#2 (Boys 7-10)
#3 (Girls 11-13)
#4 (Boys 11-13)
No Camp
#5 (Girls 14-17)
#6 (Boys 14-17)

*Dates subject to change

July  3-7
July 10-14
July 17-21
July 24-28
July 31-Aug. 4
August 7-11
August 14-18

Camp fees are $500. Families may wish to consider seeking assistance through Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCO) or local service clubs (i.e. Lions Club). The Centre can assist with this process if requested.

Scholarship money may be available if the camp fee creates financial hardship for the camper and their family

Children who wish to attend must be registered with the Lakeland Centre for FASD. Click for a Registration Package, ask your Outreach Worker or call the LCFASD Main Office at 1.877.594.5454.

Applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis until camps are full

For more information you can also visit:


Licit and Illicit Drug Use during Pregnancy: Maternal, Neonatal and Early Childhood Consequences

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

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Non-medical abuse of drugs can occur at any stage of life. When such exposure occurs during pregnancy and in the postnatal phase, it raises understandable concern about the impact on the health of the mother and child, as well as possible longterm consequences for brain development in the new infant. As individuals our concerns are immediate and heartfelt, and yet as a society we have in many respects turned a blind eye to this tragic state of affairs. Women in the greatest need, arising in part from a dependency on illicit drugs, often have limited options for the long-term care they require.

We can hope that publications such as this Substance Abuse in Canada report, which summarizes new and sophisticated research and clinical developments concerning maternal, neonatal and early childhood consequences of drug use during pregnancy, indicate that the tide is turning. Thanks to the efforts of a new cohort…

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More than 200 hospitalized in Canada from booze every day: study



Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, June 22, 2017 10:13PM EDT

An average of 212 Canadians were admitted to hospital every day because of alcohol use between 2015 and 2016.

New research from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found hospitals checked in 77,000 patients for medical issues that were caused by harmful booze consumption. That figure excludes patients who were treated by emergency departments and sent home.

The results of the first-time study were high enough to catch the researchers off guard. Average daily alcohol-related hospital stays chugged past the daily average for heart attacks (205) that year.

“We were surprised to see that the number is so high,” CIHI director Jean Harvey told CTV Atlantic on Thursday. She warns these findings are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Canadians’ dangerously excessive thirst.

That’s because the study excluded a number of alcohol-related health risks, such as motor vehicle accidents caused by impaired driving and hospitalizations for medical conditions brought on by regular heavy drinking.

A total of 56,600 individuals were hospitalized during the studied period, 21 per cent of which had two or more hospital stays.

Harvey estimates 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and insists more research is required to get a full understanding of the toll and fully assess how to reduce harm.

What is clear, however, is that the likelihood of landing in a hospital bed after imbibing depends a lot on who you are, and where you live.

With the exception of Nova Scotia, provinces in the east generally saw lower rates of alcohol-related hospitalization than their western neighbours. Looking closer, the study found that people who live in the northern-most reaches of each province were at a greater risk.

Provincial and territorial rates for hospitalizations entirely caused by alcohol ranged from 172 per 100,000 in New Brunswick to 1,315 per 100,000 in the Northwest Territories.

Rural Canadians were found to require hospitalization more often than their urban counterparts, a fact researchers say could be partially explained by scarcer treatment resources.

Men in Canada landed in the hospital more often than women, except between the ages of 10 and 19.

“It may be because teen girls are choosing alcohol that has higher alcohol content than boys, for example, drinking vodka while the boys are drinking beer,” Harvey said. She also noted that physiological difference could play a role.

The gender split mirrors those found in drinking patterns. There is a significantly higher prevalence of self-reported heavy drinking among men compared to women.

The rate of hospitalization came in 2.5 times higher in the lowest-income neighbourhoods compared to the wealthiest areas in Canada, even though previous data suggests both groups consume similar amounts.

Researchers call this phenomenon as the “alcohol harm paradox,” and point to a range of socioeconomic factors like higher stress, less social support, poorer diet, less physical activity, and a higher risk of binge drinking and drinking in unsafe settings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study found provinces and territories with greater alcohol sales generally had a higher prevalence of heavy drinking. That pattern was clearly observed in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, British Columbia, and to a lesser extent, Alberta.

Quebec bucked the trend. Hospitalizations there were low on average, while both heavy drinking and sales exceed the Canadian average.

Dr. Sam Campbell, chief of Halifax Infirmary’s emergency department, said the CIHI’s snapshot of Canadians, alcohol, and hospital stays is a deeply concerning one.

“I think it is a huge wake-up call. Everyone is worried about having a heart attack. Few people are worried about their liver failing,” he said.

Dr. Campbell said alcohol use places a major burden on Canada’s health care system. The CIHI estimated that tab for alcohol-related direct health care costs topped $3.3 billion in 2002, part of a $14 billion strain placed on the broader economy.

“If you got rid of alcohol and cigarettes, the strain on the health care system would be a lot lighter,” Dr. Campbell said.

“I think what this is showing is that it definitely is an issue in this country,” Harvey said. “This is only a very small part of the overall alcohol story.”

With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl

retrieved from:


Two Recent Approaches to FASD Diagnosis

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project


Over the last 50 years, a significant amount of research and clinical expertise has been devoted to characterizing the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus. Simultaneously, a variety of systems and approaches have also emerged to provide diagnostic guidance for the related diagnoses.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is now widely used to describe the resultant sequelae associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Despite ongoing pressure to develop a consensus around diagnostic approaches for FASD, different multidisciplinary diagnostic systems continue to emerge.

Recently, significant differences in diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were revealed after comparing the 2005 Canadian diagnostic guidelines and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition diagnosis Neurobehavioural disorder
associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE).

Although considerable overlap was identified between both sets of criteria, the neurobehavioural domains assessed for a ND-PAE diagnosis limited the identification of patients with FASD.

Similarly, two recent…

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