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