Link between fetal alcohol syndrome and autism spectrum disorder may point to novel treatment methods
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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), both conditions that are neurodevelopmental in origin, may share some similar molecular vulnerabilities, according to a new rodent study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

When researchers from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Ill., exposed pregnant rats to alcohol, they found their offspring experienced symptoms of social impairment and altered-levels of genes that have been previously linked to autism in humans.

"The novel finding here is that these two disorders share molecular vulnerabilities, and if we understand those, we are closer to finding treatments," Eva Redei, the senior author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a press release.

Furthermore, study authors found that when the pregnant,

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