Novel Molecular Targets for the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Susana E. Martinez and Gustavo Egea
Affiliation: Gustavo Egea, Departament de Biologia Cellular i Anatomia patològica, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat de Barcelona, c/ Casanova 143, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.
Keywords: Fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, ethanol, patents, antioxidants, retinol, lysophosphatidic acid, glia, neuron, central nervous system
Alcohol abuse produces damaging effects on the CNS that leads to several types of disorders. When consumed during pregnancy, alcohol may cause craniofacial malformations, growth retardation and brain damage in offspring. These symptoms are grouped by the term fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is the most common cause of non-genetic mental retardation in the western world. Substantial efforts to elucidate the molecular basis of these impairments are currently in progress. Whereas FAS is totally preventable by avoiding alcohol intake during pregnancy, efficient therapies to prevent or mitigate the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure are still not available but many pharmacological treatments have been developed to avoid alcohol intake and dependence in adults. The present article reviews the most relevant mechanisms of alcohol injury in developing brain and the strategies and patents that are currently available and in progress to prevent therapy for FAS.
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