UNM Gets $2.5-Million for Fetal Alcohol Research

The University of New Mexico has been designated an Alcohol Research Center by the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. The New Mexico Alcohol Research Center (NMARC) has received a five-year research grant totaling 2.5 million dollars to study Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Despite public awareness campaigns and warning labels on alcoholic beverages, more than a half million women in the United States continue to drink while pregnant each year. Currently, it is estimated that more than 1% of all children born in the United States each year will have fetal alcohol-related behavioral problems, a number 50% higher than the incidence of autism. In many case, the behavioral consequences of fetal alcohol exposure do not become apparent until adolescence.

The NMARC has three research program goals:

  • to increase understanding of how maternal drinking during pregnancy may cause functional brain damage that can lead to behavioral problems in affected offspring;
  • to identify new approaches for diagnosing children with FASD earlier in life;
  • to develop effective interventions for treating FASD-related behavioral problems.

The NMARC, led by Dr. Daniel Savage, Regents’ Professor & Chair of the Department of Neurosciences, is composed of more than a dozen investigators in the Departments of Neurosciences, Pediatrics, Psychology and at the MIND Research Network.

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Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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