Jocelynn L. Cook
CMAJ 2015. DOI:10.1503 /cmaj.141593
Despite 40 years of research, there are still gaps in knowledge and evidence related to the diagno¬sis of FASD. For obvious ethical reasons, it is impossible to perform titrated dose–response studies of prenatal alcohol exposure and subsequent teratogenicity that would undoubtedly provide more definitive answers. Despite this apparent limitation, researchers and clinicians continue to study the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure using different models and methodolo¬gies, and evidence continues to emerge that improves the understanding and knowledge base of FASD. For example, diagnostic biomarkers are under investigation, as are additional tools to assess sensory processing and integration dysfunction, and sleep disorders in those with FASD.22 Further research is required to determine the association between prenatal alcohol exposure and other mental health problems. Databases containing diagnostic data need to be analyzed for correlations between sentinel facial features and patterns of neurodevelopmental deficits .
Research is ongoing, and their findings may reveal novel approaches that can improve available technologies for screening, diagnosis and management.