Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
FASD IN HISTORY
Circa 1000 BC: In the Old Testament book of Judges, an angel spoke to Samson's mother and said "Now therefore beware, I pray you, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing."
Circa 300 BC: Aristotle is quoted: "Foolish, drunken or hare-brained women most often bring forth children like unto themselves, morose and languid."
1726: The College of Physicians in England calls that country's scourge of cheap gin "a cause of weak, feeble and distempered children."
1800: A report to the British House of Commons suggests that children of alcoholic women have "a starved, shrivelled and imperfect look."
1899: Dr. William Sullivan, a Liverpool prison physician, finds higher rates of stillbirths among 120 alcoholic female prisoners than their sober counterparts.
1968: French doctor Paul Lemoine describes the syndrome among 127 children of alcoholic mothers.
1973: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome gets a name. Kenneth Lyons Jones and David Weyhe Smith, doctors at the University of Washington medical school, describe a pattern of facial, limb and organ defects as well as developmental delays in eight children born to alcoholic mothers.
1990s: Research by Ann Streissguth shows people with FASD are much more likely to have mental-health problems, commit crimes, abuse drugs and alcohol, have trouble in school and report inappropriate sexual behaviour.
2000: Researchers at the University of Washington develop a set of diagnostic guidelines, including growth deficiency, facial features, central nervous system damage and prenatal alcohol exposure.
2005: A similar diagnostic checklist is created in Canada, largely by Winnipeg doctor and FASD expert Albert Chudley.
-- Source: Academic papers including Were our Forebears Aware of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Its Effects? A Review of the History of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, by James Sanders, and The Effects of Drinking on Offspring; an Historical Survey of the American and British Literature, by Rebecca Warner and Henry Rosett.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 18, 2011 J5
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