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A 33-year-old member asked:

Can a mother that was diagnosed with fetal alchol syndrome herself pass the genetics on to her child?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Maternal-Fetal Medicine 26 years experience
Only predisposition: Only predisposition to alcohol abuse is inherited - not the fetal alcohol syndrome if the mother does not consume alcohol during pregnancy.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
FASD: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders occur when alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman is passed through her bloodstream to the fetus. I oversimplified this on purpose. Alcohol is a teratogen, an agent that can cause malfirmations in an embryo or fetus. There is no known safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy, nor any safe time to drink it while pregnant. To stop drinking when planning a pregnancy is best.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
No: There are no genes that directly give you the features of fas. Only the alcohol coursing through your developing body as a fetus. Exclude the alcohol & no FAS in the fetus. The susceptibility to habituation or addiction has a complex gene & environmental interplay which may be inherited but that is not clear.

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Last updated Jan 12, 2015

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