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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ophthalmic involvement in the fetal alcohol syndrome: clinical and animal model studies.

The fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is caused by maternal alcohol misuse during pregnancy and is characterized by pre- and postnatal growth retardation, central nervous system anomalies and a wide spectrum of malformations, the most typical being the craniofacial features. The eye is a sensitive indicator of the adverse effects of environmental agents, and the ocular abnormalities observed in children with FAS indicate that the developing eye is particularly affected by alcohol. The external signs include short palpebral fissures, telecanthus, epicanthus, blepharoptosis, microphthalmos and strabismus. Within the eyes, the signs and symptoms most commonly detected are optic nerve hypoplasia, increased tortuosity of the retinal vessels and impaired vision. Experimental models of FAS, closely reproducing characteristics of human FAS, have contributed to our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of the action of alcohol in the developing visual system. As there is such a high frequency of eye signs and symptoms in FAS, an ophthalmological examination is important when making the diagnosis, as well as in the management of the disorder. Current knowledge of ophthalmological involvement in FAS in humans is presented, as well as a review of findings using animal models specially designed for studying ocular developmental changes induced by alcohol.[1]


  1. Ophthalmic involvement in the fetal alcohol syndrome: clinical and animal model studies. Strömland, K., Pinazo-Durán, M.D. Alcohol Alcohol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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