The NOFAS Webinar Series features renowned FASD scientist Edward P. Riley of San Diego State University presenting an overview of the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD).
CIFASD is a multidisciplinary, multisite consortium utilizing both clinical and basic science projects to increase our knowledge concerning FASD. FASD is an international problem and the consortium was designed to take advantage of resources available in different parts of the world. To date, the consortium has been involved in research from more than half a dozen countries, from Australia to Finland.
One of the aims of this project is to develop clinically useful diagnostic criteria for the entire range of outcomes resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure by utilizing brain imaging, standardized behavioral assessments, and 3D facial imaging accompanied by computerized facial recognition techniques. Another aim is to uncover the mechanisms by which alcohol acts as a teratogen and then design effective interventions.
Dr. Riley’s presentation will provide an overview of the CIFASD and present recent findings from both the clinical and basic science projects. The usefulness of studying animal models and how they complement the human, clinical studies will be discussed with particular reference to the similarities in brain and facial imaging outcomes. The relationship among the facial imaging, brain imaging, and behavior findings will be presented as they demonstrate that the face is a window into the brain and illustrate how brain changes result in behavioral deficits. Additionally, findings from recent projects on new imaging modalities and the identification of biomarkers will be presented.