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A research article entitled “Light drinking versus abstinence in pregnancy – behavioural and cognitive outcomes in 7-year-old children: a longitudinal cohort study”  was recently published in BJOG: an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Media reports have focused on the study’s findings suggesting that light alcohol consumption during pregnancy may not have harmful effects on behaviour and cognition in young children despite a clear statement in the conclusion of the paper that there is no known safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy:

…we remain unclear on what is the level for drinking safely and how this level might be affected by individual susceptibility. Therefore, it may be that the safest option for pregnant women is to avoid drinking during their pregnancies….further work to tease out whether or not low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are causally linked to developmental problems in childhood is needed. (Kelly et al., 2013, p.7)

The news releases have received responses from the Canada FASD Research Network (CanFASD) and the American  National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS). Both reiterate that there is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.

We encourage our readers to read CanFASD’s response to the issue. Links to the research article abstract and BBC’s account of the findings are available through CanFASD’s response.

NOFAS ‘s response to the issue is also available online.


Kelly Y, Iacovou M, Quigley M, Gray R, Wolke D, Kelly J, Sacker A. Light drinking versus abstinence in pregnancy – behavioural
and cognitive outcomes in 7-year-old children: a longitudinal cohort study. BJOG 2013; DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.12246.



We recently featured our newest project, KnowFASD, in the latest edition of our iNAT newsletter. For those of you who have not yet subscribed to the iNAT newsletter, here is some information about KnowFASD:

Our goal with KnowFASD is to provide a comprehensive site where viewers can learn about the neurobehavioural deficits associated with FASD throughout the lifespan and link to intervention options.

The main homepage of the website is an interactive interface where viewers can scroll through the lifespan of individuals with FASD, with neurobehavioural issues at each developmental stage presented as they may appear in day-to-day life. By clicking on a neurobehavioural issue, viewers are directed to a “wiki” (which works in a similar fashion to Wikipedia) housing information from current research on the neurobehavioural issue at hand. Each wiki page discusses a specific neurobehavioural issue: how it presents, potential causes, and potential consequences. At the bottom of each page, a link is provided to topic-specific intervention options.

Please feel free to visit the site, pass it along, and give us your feedback or suggestions. Check back often as we continue to categorize and upload information.

Visit KnowFASD

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