Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New 'Eye Movement' Test May Help Treat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Date:
December 9, 2005
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
A simple test that measures eye movement may help to identify children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and ultimately lead to improved treatment for the condition, say Queen's University researchers.

A simple test that measures eye movement may help to identify children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and ultimately lead to improved treatment for the condition, say Queen’s University researchers.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queen's University

A simple test that measures eye movement may help to identify children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and ultimately lead to improved treatment for the condition, say Queen’s University researchers.

At present there are no objective diagnostic tools that can be used to distinguish between children with FASD – which affects approximately one per cent of children in Canada – and those with other developmental disorders such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Researcher James Reynolds and graduate student Courtney Green, of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Centre for Neuroscience Studies, will present their findings next week at the annual meeting of the international Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C.

“Having a set of tests that can be used as diagnostic tools for fetal alcohol syndrome and all of the other behavioural disorders classified under the broader term fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is tremendously valuable,” says Dr. Reynolds, who is part of a $1.25-million Queen’s-led team focusing on fetal alcohol syndrome, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. “Now we can begin to identify specific deficits in these children.”

Many of the behavioural tests used to assess children with FASD are geared to white, middle-class English-speaking people, notes Ms Green. “The biggest problem [in current tests] is cultural insensitivity,” she says. “By measuring eye movement we can cut across cultural barriers and provide objectivity in identifying the disorder.”

In a pilot study involving 25 girls and boys aged eight to 12, the Queen’s team found that children with FASD have specific brain abnormalities which can be measured with eye movement testing. Defined as “birth defects resulting from a mother’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy”, fetal alcohol syndrome is associated with hyperactivity, difficulty in learning and deficits in memory, understanding and reasoning, as well as problems dealing with stressful situations.

The next stage of the Queen’s research will be to make the eye movement test mobile and transport it to targeted areas, such as northern and rural parts of Ontario, where FASD is believed to be more prevalent. The researchers envision this as a multi-centre project, in which other participants will work from the same set of pooled data.

“There is a clear need to develop new tools that can be used to reliably and objectively measure the brain injury of FASD,” says Dr. Reynolds. “Ideally, these tools need to be mobile, inexpensive, and easy to use, for both diagnosis and the long-term evaluation of therapeutic interventions. Eye movements are ideally suited for this purpose.”

Using the new functional MRI facility at Queen’s, the team will then be able to measure differences in brain activity between children with fetal alcohol syndrome and those with other developmental disorders such as ADHD.

“Having access to this facility will have a huge impact on our research program,” Dr. Reynolds says. “It allows us to create an integrated research strategy for carrying out studies to provide functional brain imaging data that can be directly related to neuro-behavioural deficits in individual children with FASD.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "New 'Eye Movement' Test May Help Treat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051209180248.htm>.
Queen's University. (2005, December 9). New 'Eye Movement' Test May Help Treat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051209180248.htm
Queen's University. "New 'Eye Movement' Test May Help Treat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051209180248.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins