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On the Trail of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The history of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Spectrum Disorders
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Thursday, September 1, 2005
Subject: FAS:  From 1977 to 2006
Time: 12:38:21 PM EDT
Author:  psoba

 1977.  The Merck Manual:  Thirteenth Edition.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is not mentioned in this edition. 
    Minimal Brain Dysfunction is now under the heading, Learning Disorders and "More common labels include brain injury, brain damage, minimal brain damage, hyperkinesis, perceptual deficits and dyslexia."
    Under treatments:
    "... to keep the child in his regular classroom and to schedule some periods with a teacher who is trained to provide special help-technics which succeed in improving poor
    The use of stimulants to improve attention is again mentioned.
    Under Personality Disorders, only the Hysterical (*histronic) Personality, Psychopathic (*Sociopathic or Antisocial) Personality and the Inadequate Personality are still included.  The quotes beside psychopathic personality are the Merck's quotes.  This indicates that for many in the medical field, the sociopathic/antisocial/psychopathic diagnoses are interchangeable.  The etiology of the two conditions are identical to those descriptions in the Twelfth Manual (1972).
     The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) issues the statement that 6 or more drinks per day incurred the risk that a woman could produce a child with birth defects.

 1978.  Third Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health:  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  This was the first time FAS became an integral part of this specially commissioned report to the U.S. Congress.  Each report adds information to the previous report on alcohol and other related topics.  Therefore, information presented in these reports to Congress seldom repeat each other except for the introductions.  Contents cover etiology, symptoms, physical signs, physical damage to organs, psychological aspects, economic costs and current research.  Extensive bibliography accompanies each section.

 1979.  By this year, over 600 cases of FAS had been reported worldwide.  Dr. Ernest Abel in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects.  (New York:  Plenum Press.) reported that incidences of FAS were in articles from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Reunion, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S.

 1980. Research Society on Alcoholism (RSOA) issues three criteria for a diagnosis of FAS.  "A pattern of characteristic facial features, pre-postnatal deficit in height and weight, and central nervous system damage."

 1981.  Fourth Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health:  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the NIAAA.  Pages 59-111.

    The Surgeon General of the United States issues a health advisory recommending that pregnant women or women considering getting pregnant abstain from using alcohol because of possible harm to the unborn child.

 1982.  The Merck Manual:  Fourteenth Edition.  Nine years after the first international paper on the etiology of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was published, FAS finally appears in the Merck Manual.  Under Section 16: Pediatrics and Genetics, Chapter 189:  the Newborn, Metabolic Conditions:
    "...The most serious consequence is mental retardation..."
    Under Section 23: Clinical Pharmacology, Chapter 274:  Drug Toxicity, Drugs in Pregnancy: "...borderline mental deficiency..."  No other serious behavioral problems are discussed.   
    Under Section 12:  Psychiatric Disorders, Chapter 142: Personality Disorders are described for the first time in the nomenclature of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical Disorders (DSM-III).
   The diagnostic section, the following has been added  to coping mechanisms (5)  Turning against one's self allows aggression towards others to be expressed indirectly and ineffectively through passivity.  It includes failures and illnesses that affect others more than one's self, and silly, provocative clowning.  The mechanism underlies most sadomasochistic relationships.
    The Hysterical (*histronic) and Antisocial Personalities (*psychopathic, sociopathic) (*quotes are from the Merck Manual) are the only two that remain under personality disorders.
    " The Histronic (Hysterical) Personality is described in various terms such as "
egocentric...attention seeking...theatrical behavior...emotional immaturity...childish, emotional response...lively manner...rarely deeply involved emotionally...insatiable need for affection...easily repress or forget unpleasant or discreditable experiences...responsiblity for misfortunes and failures is usually ascribed to others."
    " The Antisocial Personality "(previously used designation:  psychopathic,
sociopathic) characteristically act out their conflicts and flout normal rules of social order.  ...impulsive, irresponsible, amoral, unable to forego immediate gratification. They cannot form affectionate relationships with others, but their charm and plausability may be highly developed and skillfully used for their own ends.  They tolerate frustration poorly, and opposition is likely to to elicit hostility, aggression, or serious violence.  Failure and punishment rarely modify their behavior or improve their judgment and foresight."
    Suggested therapies or treatments, "Although these mechanisms may not be breached by reason or interpretation, they respond to improved interpersonal relationships and to supportive but forceful confrontation in prolonged psychotherapy or peer encounters."

 1983.  Fifth Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health:  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the NIAAA.  Pages 68-82.

 1984.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects. by Dr. Ernest Abel.  One of the first textbooks to overview the mechanisms and laboratory research on the effects of alcohol upon laboratory animals and selected cases. 

 1985.  A Poison Stronger than Love. by Anastasia Shkilnyk.  A book that tells the story of FAS in an American Indian (Ojibway) community.  New Haven:  Yale University Press.

 1987.  The Merck Manual:  Fifteenth Edition.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is comprised of one paragraph on page 1887.  "The most serious consequence is severe mental retardation."  There is no mention of other behavioral problems.
   Under Section 12, Psychiatric Disorders, Chapter 137, Personality Disorders the diagnosis section and the Histronic (*Hysterical) and Antisocial (*Psychopathic, Sociopathic)  Disorders section are copies of the Fourteenth Manual (1982) manual entries.  (*quotes are from the Merck Manual.)

   Under Section 15:  Gynecological and Obstetrical Care, Chapter 176:  Normal Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery, Prenatal Care, the Merck states, "Recent studies indicate that...a daily intake of  (less than) 2 ounces of wine probably would not cause fetal abnormalities."
 Sixth Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health:  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome published by the Department of Health and Human Services and NIAAA.  Pages 79-96.

 1988. High Risk:  Children Without a Conscience by Dr. Ken Magid and Carole McKelvey.  A highly popular book at the time.  It deals almost exclusively with psychopathic (antisocial) personalities.  The problems therein are ascribed to working mothers, day care, teenage pregnancy, divorce, tv violence, schools, lack of religion, too much money, too little money, lack of bonding/trust, adoption and foster care...everything except prenatal alcohol exposure.  The introduction was written by Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder.  The topics brought up in this book are still being discussed as reasons for children's behavioral problems.

 1989.  The Broken Cord by Michael Dorris.  The first nationally distributed book on FAS and its effects on a family.  Dr. Dorris cited 165 articles and books and three videos on the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.

     U.S. law calls for the mandatory labeling of all containers of alcohol sold in the United States.

 1990.  Seventh Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health:  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the NIAAA.  Pages 138-161.

 1992.  The Merck Manual:  Sixteenth Edition.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is mentioned on
    Page 1860 with no mention of the behavioral problems of FAS.
    Pages 1880-1881, "...severe behavioral effects..." "...varying degrees of mental retardation, and abnormal neurobehavioral development."  "FAS is the leading known cause of mental retardation..."
    Page 2009 with no mention of behavioral problems
    Page 2109, "...and MR."

    Page 1860, does state "In one study, an increased frequency of abnormalities was not found until 45 ml of alcohol (equivalent to 3 drinksper day) was exceeded." 

[The Surgeon General of the United States issued his warning against drinking during pregnancy in 1981.]

    Personality Disorders are derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Revised edition (DSM III-R) and include the Histronic (*Hysterical) Personality and the Antisocial (*Psychopathic, Sociopathic) Personality.  (*quotes are from the Merck Manual)
    Under treatment, the following has been changed and added:
    "The physician's job is to contain the patient's externalization through setting limits, confrontation,  and avoiding his own tendency to become overinvolved--first to rescue and then condemn.  ... Over the long term, the anxiety and and depression...are rarely abolished by pharmacotherapy...(exceptions are associated depression and compulsive disorders).
    "Patients must be confronted with the way their behavior affects other people.  Frequently, limits on behavior need to be set and reality issues dealt with.  ...the family should be involved, since group pressure seems to be effective.  Group and family treatment, group living situations, therapeutic social clubs, self help groups, milieu hospital therapy--all can be valuable in treatment.  ...It is also important that those who undertaken treatment be aware of the difficulties and avoid the disappointment, annoyance , and moral judgments that tend to creep in."
    Finally,  "Life expectancy is diminished but among those surviving, there is some tendency to stabilization after age 40."
 1993.  Eighth Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health:  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the NIAAA.  Pages 202-232.
 1995.   Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:  Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Prevention and Treatment.  edited by Kathleen Stratton, et al.  This Institute of Medicine textbook was the American effort to consolidate the research and practical knowledge that was available up to that time and to provide a uniform basis for diagnosis.
 1995-2004.  The Merck Manual:  Seventeenth Edition is online at
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is found in this volume.  The behavioral aspects of FAS are as follows:       Section 21, Chapter 286, "..with mental retardation and behavioral disturbances..."
    Section 18, Chapter 250, "...varying degrees of mental retardation and abnormal neurobehavioral development."
    Personality Disorders are in Section 15:  Psychiatric Disorders Chapter 191: Personality Disorders.  The excerpts quoted are taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), under Cluster B:  dramatic/erratic.
    Antisocial Disorder (*previously called psychopathic or sociopathic) is essentially the same as the previous entries from prior Merck editions.
    There are additional comments on the environment. "Antisocial personality disorder is often associated with alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, promiscuity, failure in one's occupation, frequent relocation, and imprisonment.  ...more men have this personality disorder than women, and more women have borderline personality; these two disorders have much in common.  In the families to patients with both personality patterns, the prevalence of antisocial relatives, substance abuse, divorces and childhood abuse is high.  Often the patient's parents have a poor relationship, and the patient was severely emotionally deprived in his formative years.  Life expectancy is decreased but among survivors, the disorder tends to diminish or stabilize with age."
    Histronic (*hysterical) Personality is also essential the same as in previous editions of the Merck.  There are no comments on therapies or treatment for this disorder 
    (*quotes are from the Merck Manual)

 1996. Alcohol, Pregnancy and the Developing Child.  edited by Dr. Hans-Ludwig Spohr and Dr. Hans-Christoph Steinhausen.  The European effort to consolidate the research and knowledge about FAS that was available up to that time.  Spohr and Steinhausen also reported that papers on the occurrences of FAS had appeared in Germany in 1976, Sweden in 1979 and Japan in 1981. 

 1997.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:  A Guide for Families and Communities,  by Dr. Ann Streissguth, premier researcher on the behavior of children with FAS.  Streissguth gives a partial list of countries reporting cases of FAS, France, Germany, Iceland, South Africa, and Canada.

 Ninth Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health:  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the NIAAA.  Pages 192-246.

 2000.  Tenth Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the NIAAA.  Pages 282-338.

 2001.  Craig Lesley writes Storm Riders, a fictionalized account of his adopted son who has FAS.  Picodor Pubishers.

 2004.  Damaged Angels by Bonnie Buxton.  The second internationally distributed book on FASD and its effects on a Canadian family.  It was first published in Canada and soon to be published in the United States in May of 2005.

 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:  Guidelines for Referral and Diagnosis.  Published by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.  The latest update on diagnostic criteria.

 2005.  Stout, Martha.  The Sociopath Next Door.  In an interview on NBC Saturday Today Show, she states, "Most sociopaths are not violent."  "They are often have a failure to plan."  "They can be charming."

     Russell, Elizabeth.   Alcohol and Pregnancy:  A Mother's Responsible Disturbance.  (2005)  Burleigh, Australia:  Zeus Publications.  One of the only non-fiction books written by an Australian birth mother about her struggles to advocate for her two sons. Discusses legal issues and residential alternatives. 

  2006:  The Merck Manual:  Eighteenth Edition.  Will not be online until August of 2006.  Two paragraphs are devoted to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
  Section 18:  Gynecology and Obstetrics, mentions "...increased risk of spontaneous abortion... fetal growth restriction...facial and cariovascular defects and neurologic dysfunction."  "It is a leading cause of mental retardation and can cause neonatal death due to failure to thrive."
  Section 19:  Pediatrics, mentions, "...a constellation of physical and cognitive abnormalities."  "After birth, cognitive deficits become more apparent."  "The most serious manifestation is severe mental retardation..."  "...lesser degrees of alcohol use cause less severe manifestations..."



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Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Subject: FAS:  From 1956 to 1973
Time: 2:29:30 PM EDT
Author:  psoba

    1956.  The Merck Manual:  Ninth Edition.  The Neuropsychiatric section is almost always seeped in Freudian Theory and uses the "id, ego and superego" as well as other Freudian terms for different types of psychoses. 
    This is the first time that Personality Disorders has its own chapter.  Personality Disorders are "...characterized by developmental defects or pathologic trends in personality structure, with minimal subjective anxiety and distress.  ...these disorders are manifested by lifelong behavior patterns, rather than by mental or emotional symptoms."
    Under Personality Pattern Disturbances, "Prolonged therapy may improve functioning ... but rarely accomplishes basic change in their inherent structures."
    The Inadequate Personality is defined as "In response to intellectual, emotional, social and  physical demands, these individuals show  inadaptability, ineptness, poor judgment, lack of physical and emotional stamina, and social incompatibility." 
    Under Sociopathic Personality Disturbances, "Individuals...are ill primarily in terms of conformity with the prevailing cultural milieu, as well as in terms of personal discomfort and relations with others.  Sociopathic reactions are often symptomatic of severe neurosis or or result from organic brain injury or disease."  (The sociopathic personality and the antisocial personality are combined in later editions of the Merck.)
    The Antisocial Personality is described as:  "...individuals who are always in trouble, profiting from neither from experience nor punishment, and maintaining no real loyalties to any person,  group or code.  They are callous and hedonistic, showing marked emotional insecurity.  They lack judgment and a sense of responsibility but can rationalize their behavior so that it appears reasonable and justified.   The term includes cases previously classified as 'constitutional
psychopathic state' and 'psychopathic personality'."
    There are no suggestions for treatment or therapy.

 1957.  Jacqueline Rouquette in "Influence de l'intoxication alcoolique parentale sur le development physique et psychique des jeunnes enfants."  (Influence of intoxicated parents on the physical and psychological development of their young children.) These, Paris.  Streissguth (in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:  A Guide for Families and Communities) says of her work:  "...a medical thesis from Paris described 100 foundling home children born to alcoholic mothers and fathers who had malformations very similar to those now recognized as constituting FAS.  She concluded that maternal alcoholism, in particular, posed very grave dangers for the developing fetus and child."

    From Steissguth's Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:  A Guide for Families and Communities, reports that D. Papara-Nicholson and I.R. Telford administered alcohol to pregnant guinea pigs and observed the resultant offspring had problems with low birthweight, poor locomotion, incoordination , feeding and sucking.  Streissguth notes that this may have been the first report of the neurobehavioral effects of prenatal alcohol.

 1960.  Many physicians who graduated this year are nearing retirement in 2005.

 1961-1966.  The Merck Manual:  Tenth and Eleventh Editions.  These editions are nearly identical to the Ninth Edition.  The theories of Sigmund Freud are quoted.  Almost the same wording occurs in all three editions.
    Again, Personality Disorders are deemed to be "lifelong problems rather than mental or emotional symptoms."
    In the Tenth Edition under Neuropsychiatric, Personality Disorders, Sociopathic Personality Disorders, Antisocial Reaction and in the Eleventh Edition, Section 16:  Neuropsychiatric, Chapter 2;  Personality Trait Disturbances, Psychopathic Personality Disturbances, Antisocial Reaction,  "This term refers to individuals who are always in trouble, profiting neither from experience nor from punishment, and maintaining no real loyalties to any person, group, or code.  Frequently they are callous and hedonistic, showing marked emotional immaturity.  They lack judgment and a sense of responsibility but can rationalize their behavior so that it appears reasonable and justified." 
    Note that the term changes from Sociopathic Personality Disorders to Psychopathic Personality Disturbances from the Tenth to the Eleventh edition.
    The Inadequate Personality in also mentioned in both editions.  The definition is the same, "In response to the intellectual, emotional and physical demands, these individuals show inadaptability, ineptness, poor judgment, lack of physical and emotional stamina, irresponsibility and social incompatibility."
    There are no recommended therapies.
    The 10th Edition starts to include a section on Organic Brain Damage but that is almost exclusively of traumatic origin.

 1966.  Coffey, T.G. "Beer Street:  Gin Lane Some Views of 18th Century Drinking."  Quarterly Journal Alcohol Studies.  

 Fuchs, A.R. "The Inhibitory Effect of Ethanol on the Release of Oxytocin During the Parturition of the Rabbit."  Journal of Endrocrinology.  

 1968:  Dr. Paul Lemoin publishes "Les infants de parents alcooliques; anomolies observees a propos de 127 cas."  Ouest. Med.  This was not published internationally and received relatively little notice.

 1970.  The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is formed.

 1972. Cantwell, D.P.  "Psychiatric Illnesses in the Families of Hyperactive Children."  Achives of Genral Psychiatry.  

 The Merck Manual: Twelfth Edition.  This edition is notable for finally dropping the Freudian theories that were predominate in the prior editions that covered nearly 25 years of psychiatry.  It also includes a pediatric section for the first time.   
    This is an excerpt from the 1972 edition of the Merck Manual.
Under Section 18:  Psychiatric Disorders, Numbers 3.  Mental Subnormality and  4.  Disorders of Childhood:
    Number 3.  "Mental Subnormality (Mental Deficiency, Mental Retardation, Feeblemindedness)" "Etiology (includes)...(3)  Birth trauma or physical agent (6)  Unknown prenatal influence (Alcohol is not mentioned as a possible cause in either case.)
    Number 4.  "Minimal Brain Dysfunction (also known as) Minimal Brain Damage (and) Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder."  "This syndrome has received much attention over the past decade and is being diagnosed with increased frequency"
    [* Minimal Brain Dysfunction is cited in the 1978 Third Special Report to Congress on Alcohol and Health as possibly being part of the FAS spectrum of physical and behavioral disorders.]
    Under symptoms and signs:
    "...characterized by inappropriate activity, either hyperkinesis or listlessness and withdrawal."
    "Activity is impulsive and occasionally destructive or aggressive."
    "Emotional lability, low stress tolerance and intellectual deficits..."
    "The child's attention span is short and he is hyperresponsive to environmental stimuli, as if there were no selective filtering out of less meaningful stimuli."
    "Intellectual deficits...may include difficulty with arithmetic, slowness in learning to read and write, and deficits in abstract concept formation."
    "...coordination difficulties, perceptual motor difficulties, and a delay or failure in developing (right-or left-handedness)."
    "...various signs of psychiatric disability, possibly the result of 'innate' high anxiety or an impaired ability to handle stresses."
    "These children are often developmentally slow and require more and longer lasting support than normal children."
    Under diagnosis:
    "The neurologic examination may show a variety of 'soft' neurologic signs such as clumsiness, impairment in rapid successive movements , mild choreo-athetosis, mixed laterality of with right-left confusion, finger agnosia and evidence of dyslexia or dyspraxia."
    "The EEG may be useful in detecting a seizure disorder or cerebral dysrhythmias."
    "Psychological testing ...should include standard intelligence tests and perceptual-function test to document the visual perceptual difficulties, problems with spatial organization and distractable behavior..."
    Under prognosis:
    "The syndrome appears to be self limited, since many of the characteristics fade during early adolescence.  Though the hyperkinesis and behavioral order usually subside, some of the
learning or emotional difficulties continue and the child is often left with school problems,
continued high levels of anxiety and low self esteem."
    Under treatment:
    Amphetamines are mentioned as a way to increase attention span.
    "Special education, geared to the child's individual needs, is necessary, especially for
children...regarded as poorly motivated or retarded..."
    "Raising these children in a supportive atmosphere requires education inunderstanding by most parents."
    "It is important that parents and school both provide the child with sensory experiences that are more clearly defined and of controlled intensity."
   The edition prior to this one, the Eleventh Edition, published in 1966 does not mention minimal brain dysfunction.  The edition following this, the Thirteenth Edition, published in 1977, lumps minimal brain dysfunction under learning disorders and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is not mentioned even though the international paper on FAS appeared in 1973.
    Under Section 18:  Psychiatric Disorders:  Disorders of Psychogenic Origin,
Personality Disorders are discussed as being "...relatively fixed and inflexible...   Individuals may show patterns of repetitive, maladaptive and...self defeating patterns of behavior, inadequate handling of impulses, or restricted and inappropriate feelings. variety of responses to stress.  ...tends to show little anxiety or mental or emotional symptoms.  ...low self esteem, paucity or relative superficiality of intimate relationships, difficulty in sustaining interests, low frustration tolerance, difficulty in postponing gratification and inability to learn from experience.  (It is recommended) ...that early interpersonal relationships are important to establishing modes of defense and their rigidity." 
    Number 8:  Antisocial Personality .."formerly referred to as 'sociopathic'" still remains the same. 
    Other Personality Disorders that have been added in this edition are:
    Number 4:  Explosive Personality:  "...characterized by sudden tantrum-like outbursts of rage or verbal or physical aggressiveness.  Despite guilty and regretful feelings, these individuals are unable to control their outbursts.  They are easily excited by environmental frustrations.  Recently, questions have been raised as to whether underlying minor organic brain changes predispose to this explosiveness."
    Number 6:  Hysterical (*histronic) (*quote is from the Merck Manual) Personality:  "...characterized by dramatic and  attention-seeking behavior, excitability, emotional instability and over-reactivity, self-centeredness, and a provocativeness or sexualization ofnon-sexual relationships often  with sexual frigidity or fears.  Though superficially self assured, such people have major doubts as to their identity and goals.  Their difficulty in expressing genuine feelings further  intimate relationships.  Such relationships are affected by the individual's need for affection." 
    (In the 15th edition of the Merck Manual under Antisocial Personalities,  it states "In our culture, men are more often labeled as antisocial and women as histronic personalities but the two patterns have much in common.")
    Number 7: Asthenic Personality:  "...characterized by lack of enthusiasm, low energy and capability, difficulty in developing a broad sense of enjoyment and pleasure, and a poor response to even small physical or emotional stresses."
    Number 10:  Inadequate Personality:  "...describes individuals whose response to any form of stress seems ineffectual.  Their behavior shows poor judgment, ineptness, lack of energy, poor long-range planning, and poor performance.  Incentive is lacking, especially to achieve culturally desired levels.  These people are marginally involved in social relationships, tend to drift and take non-demanding jobs.  There is no evidence for physical or mental defects."
      The "Nervous" section found in previous manuals has been changed to "Neurological Disorders"  and covers most diseases of the brain and spinal cord.  Reactions to exposure to toxins are limited to the adult experience.

    Ulleland, Christy.  "The Offspring of Alcoholic Mothers." (1972)  Annals of New York Academy of Sciences.  1972.  
 1973.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was first presented in an internationally recognized study  published by a team of researchers at the University of Washington  (Dr. Christy Ulleland, Dr. Kenneth Jones, Dr. David Smith, and Dr. Ann Streissguth). 

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Sunday, July 3, 2005
Subject: FAS:  From 1941-1950
Time: 4:32:16 PM EDT
Author:  psoba

    1941, 1964, 1982.  The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley.  This book is considered to be such a classic, I have found citations from three editions published that have covered five decades.  Dr. Cleckley based much of this book on the male patients at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, one of the largest in the country at the time of his writing.  He estimated that well over 40% of the patients in the Augusta, Georgia VA's psychiatric ward fitted the description that he classified as "semantic dementia", Cleckley describes this as "...a mind or personality so damaged that experiences as a whole cannot be grasped or utilized in its significance or meaning."  Cleckley goes on to say, " semantic dementia, the purposiveness, the significance of all life striving and of all subjective experience are affected without obvious damage to the outer appearance of the personality." "...the persistent maladaptation at the personality level, the inevitable purposelessness of behavior, suggested at times not a lack of purpose so much as a negative purpose.  The person despite all his opportunities, his intelligence and his plain lessons of experience, seem to go out of his way to woo misfortune."  The families of the patients in Cleckley's book are described as "...sound if not superior stock." even though each of the patients described were alcoholic by nature and abused it constantly throughout their lives. 

    Cleckley's Section XXII:  Clinical Profile of the patient with semantic dementia is revealing:
    "He is usually a very attractive person superficially and makes a strong positive impression when one first meets. him."
    "He is free from...any marked ...psychoneurosis."
    "...he has no sense of responsibility whatsoever to others."
    "...appears to have a total disregard for truth..."
    "...much of his trouble is his own fault."
    "...he cheats and lies without any apparent compunction."
    "...he continues to show the most execrable judgment about attaining...his own ends."
    "...His inability to learn or profit by experience no matter how chastening his experience may be."
    "...distinguished by egocentricity."
    "...shows no more real evidence of object love."
    "His absolute indifference to the hardships, financial, social, emotional, physical, and others, that  he brings upon those for whom he professes love..."
    "But mature, wholehearted anger, true or constant indignation, honest, solid grief, sustaining pride, deep joy, despair are never found within this scale."
    "...he does not show anything that could be called woe or despair or serious sorrow."
    "The emotional poverty, the complete lack of stronger or tragic feeling..."
    "...lacks the insight to a degree seldom if ever found in other mental disorders."
    "He has absolutely no capacity to see himself as others see him."
    "...he has no ability to know how others feel when they see him or to feel anything comparable himself about the situation."
    "...blaming his troubles on others with the flimsiest of pretexts but with elaborate and and subtle rationalization."
    " have little or no ability to feel the significance of his situation, to experience the real emotions of regret or shame, or determination to improve."
    "...clever statements have been purely verbal, even his expressions without underlying content; an excellent mimicry of insight."
    "...apparently a total lack of insight as a real and moving experience."
    "...uses all the words that would be used by one who understands and who could define all the words, but who is still blind to the meaning."
    "The psychopath shows little of the ordinary responsiveness to special consideration or 
    "Alcoholic indulgence is very frequently prominent in the psychopath's life story."
    " independent and pre-existing personality maladjustment is primarily causal."
    "...their almost total lack of self imposed restraint."
    "...a striking inability to follow any sort of life plan consistently whether it be regarded as good or evil."
    "...seems to go out of his way to make a failure of life."
    "...he cuts short by some incomprehensible and untempting piece of folly or buffoonery, any activity in which he is succeeding, no matter whether it is crime or honest endeavor."
    "...that some unconscious purpose to fail has been active, some unrecognized drive at social and spiritual self-destruction."
    "He shows no real insight into his condition.  There is a persistent tendency to project the source of his troubles to the environment.  We see a striking lack of normal and appropriate emotional  response, a general flattening or hollowness in affect, such as marked impairment of ordinary  judgment that he fails repeatedly to adapt himself in the social group.  His record furthermore reveals not one but a series of follies and disasters involving himself and others and brought about for no discernible purpose.  We may, therefore, say that he is psychotic, incompetent, and incapable of carrying on the usual activities of life without constant supervision."
    Cleckley goes on to state:
    " is a different type of psychosis from all those now recognized, and one which differs more widely in its general features from any of those than they differ from one another."
    "The first and most striking difference other psychoses, one finds...a more or less obvious alteration of reasoning processes or of some other demonstrable personality feature.  In the psychopath, confronted by with a convincing mask of sanity.  All the outward features of this mask are intact; nor can it be displaced or penetrated by questions directed toward
deeper personality levels.  ...The thought processes retain their normal aspect even if
psychiatrically dissected.  One finds...a solid and substantial structural image of the sane and
rational mind."
    " usually finds verbal and facial expression, tones of voice and all the other signs we have come to regard as implying conviction and emotion and the normal experiencing of life as we know it ...and we assume it to be in others.   Only very slowly, and intuitive judgment,
does the conviction come upon us that, despite these intact rational processes and their
consistent application in all directions, we are dealing here not with a complete man at all but
with what might be thought of as a subtlely constructed reflex machine which can mimic the
human personality perfectly."
    On treatment, Chapter 25:
    "The present writer humbly confesses he has found all true examples of semantic dementia to be very little influenced by therapeutic efforts."
    ".....makes it necessary to place him on wards where patients are closely confined and
    "An old physician...suggested that they be carefully gathered from all over the earth, placed on some large habitable island with all the equipment and supplies needed to establish
themselves, and then forgotten by the rest of humanity."
    On occurrence, Chapter 25:
    "In this writer's opinion approximately as many beds as those now occupied by all other
psychotic patients in the nation would scarcely be an exaggerated estimate.

    1942.  Butler, F.O. " The Defective Delinquent."  American Journal of Mental Deficiency.  

 Chesler, A., LaBelle, G.C. and Himwich, H.E.  "The Relative Effects of Toxic Doses of Alcohol on Fetal, Newborn and Adult Rats."  Quarterly Journal Studies in Alcohol

******************************************************************************    1942.  Howard W. Haggard and E.M. Jellinek received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct a study that refuted the research that indicated that maternal drinking adversely affected the unborn child.  (from Philip Pauly.  "How Did the Effects of Alcohol on Reproduction Become Scientifically Uninteresting in the Early Twentieth Century."  Journal of the History of Biology.)
    E.M. Jellinek became famous for his work, The Disease Concept of Alcoholism, New Haven:  College and University Press, published in 1960.  It was the first work that suggested that alcoholism was a disease rather than a matter of personal choice or a flaw of character.

    1944.  Crime and the Human Mind by Dr. David Abrahamsen of the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University.  Morningside Heights:  Columbia University Press. Dr. Abrahamsen writes in Chapter VI:  The Psychology of the Individual Offender:  Classification of the psychopathic offender.  
    "...we have discussed criminals with neurotic characters, including in this group, those persons who are psychopathic personalities.  Since this term has been in use for over a hundred is probably impossible to dispense with it..."  

     " is inclined to designate as psychopathic personalities all those persons who do not fit into...other groups."
    "...the term psychopathic personality has been used to mean a certain person who because of deviations and inadequacies in his personality and in his mental make up is neither mentally defective nor psychotic, but has a defect, especially regarding his character or emotions."
    "We...will define a psychopath as an abnormal personality who suffers because his aberrant character or one who because of his abnormalities disturbs society."
    "A psychopath less valuable qualities."
    "...we find among offenders persons with a superior intelligence who are endowed with a capacity to accomplish criminal acts which are not only...well done but also eccentric."
    "...most of them should be classified in the near neurotic or in the neurotic character group."
    "...usually self centered, aggressive and emotionally unstable."
    "...superior attitude...showed little inclination to be corrected."
    "There has been an inclination to include practically all chronic criminals in this group and even to restrict it to the antisocial."
    "The psychopath cannot express love."
    "...earliest childhood...caused trouble by truancy, petty stealing or some other antisocial activity."
    "D.K. Henderson has given this definition:  The term psychopathic state is the name given to those individuals who conform to a certain intellectual standard, sometimes high, sometimes approaching the realm of defect...who have...exhibited disorders of conduct of an antisocial or social nature...which have proved difficult to influence by methods of social, penal or mental care and treatment and for whom we have no adequate provision of a preventative or curative nature."
    "It is usually found that the age distribution varies from about fifteen to thirty-five or forty, the peak age being about twenty."
    "...the psychological development extends over a longer period of time (than the normal person)."
    "..his instability begins in childhood, reaches a peak in young adulthood and then drops down in the late twenties and early thirties."
    "Partridge wants to change the term psychopath to sociopath..."
    In Chapter X,  Treatment and Research, Abrahamsen goes onto say about the Neurotic Character:  "The offenders with neurotic characters represent the most difficult problem to the psychiatrist and prison authorities."
    "Punishment is without success, except that incarceration protects society..."
    " may consider the possibility of whether a training program...might be considered.  This could only be accomplished by keeping them under a continued disciplined regime in a friendly way."
    "...treat them firmly but at the same time, let them know they are not rejected."
    1947.  Developmental Diagnosis:  Normal and Abnormal Child Development by Drs. Arnold Gisell and Catherine Amatruda. Dr. Gisell was a professor in the Clinic of Child Development at the the Yale School of Medicine.  Under the chapter, Amentia of High Grade, Section 4 is titled "Inferior Endowment" and contains the following statements:
    "...those individuals who without being definitely defective are nevertheless well below average with respect to developmental status..."
    "...border on amentia without being certifiably feebleminded."
    "...a highly diversified category...distinguished (by) three types:  (1) borderline dull (2) borderline unstable (3) borderline defective."
    "Borderline dull denotes a mild degree of retardation and a general reduction of performance particularly in the fields of language and adaptive behavior."
    "Borderline unstable denotes a similar inferiority combined with impulsivity, highly changeable and other atypical emotional reactions."
    "Borderline defective.   ...The behavior is relatively well organized and balanced. In quality and caliber it is defective but not sufficiently so as to warrant a diagnosis of frank amentia."
 Gisell warns, "The foregoing distinctions must rest on clinical impressions rather than on precise objective criteria.  They are useful as descriptive diagnoses." He goes on to elaborate on borderlineunstable:  "A borderline unstable child displays unsteadiness and exaggeration in his emotional reactions and atypical deviations in one or more fields of behavior.  ...Discrepancies and disparities become apparent when his maturity is separately evaluated for the several fields of behavior."
 Gisell goes on to describe four cases:
    "...over active, over afraid of men, not interested in toys...touches objects in a gingerly manner..."
    "...rapport between himself and the examiner was shallow and variable."
    "...perservative and stereotyped manner..."
    "..described as 'stubborn, backward, slow, very jealous, craves an unusual amount of attention'..."
    "Screams at about 5 o'clock and refuses to eat supper; moans in bed; wakes at night with weird cries; clings to bottle; refuses cup."
    "...rocked back and forth incessantly..."
    "...failure to carry out differential commands..."
    "..her amiable personality cast a spell which tended to conceal her fundamental limitations..."
    "The somewhat inferior quality of her intelligence and judgment make it necessary to provide good supervision and training throughout adolescence.  If she is adequately protected, there is an excellent prospect of her making a satisfactory social and vocational adjustment in adult life."  (Gisell, however, does not follow this case into adulthood.)
 Section 5 is titled "Pseudo-Symptomatic Retardation" and contains the following observations:
    "There is a type of retardation which is falsely ascribed to such causative factors (unfavorable institutional or home environments), but which in reality a true amentia..."
    "He does some thing so well."
    "He understands so much."
    "It is though he were thwarted and as though something were holding him back."
    "He has an excellent disposition."
    "He has more abilities than he likes to use."
    "He seems unhappy."
    "...there are residues of behavior which resemble the normal so much..."
    "...the child may show extreme fixations on one toy, or on one pastime..."
    "There may be an excessive amount of rocking or mouthing, ofjargoning, of chewing, clicking, respiratory and other mannerisms."
     "...heedlessness to sound or oblivious to persons..."
     "...frequently found in association with hyperactivity."
     "...the activity and the bizarre exaggeration are frequently associated with an attractive
countenance and a far-away, wistful expression which builds up an impression of dormant or
obscured normality."
    "Parents go to heroic lengths to re-educate the child and remove the obstructions which they believe  are retarding or deflecting the child's development."
    "...the parents of these children do a lot of 'shopping around'.  They try one expedient or one program after another."
    "But the retardation and symptomatic."
    "...the mental deficiency may be of either high or low grade."
    "..heedlessness to the spoken word and the failure to talk."
       "...slow weight gains."
    "Any progress he makes will be exceedingly slow."
    "School, in the ordinary sense, will be quite beyond him."
    Gisell and Amatruda also noted that "The parents are encouraged to believe that the child will find himself in time." But they advise, "If you can bring yourself to shaping your child's need to her needs...your own distress will be reduced.  If there is a remote chance that a change will occur, you will be increasing that chance more by these means than by constantly sustained efforts to teach her beyond her capacity to learn.".  Advice often promoted by today's experts in FAS education.

    1950-1972.  The 26 page study, "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring:  A Historical Survey of American and British Literature." by Rebecca Warner and Henry l. Rosett.  (1975)  in The Journal of Studies on Alcohol. cites 14 articles written in this period that warn of the danger of drinking during pregnancy.  Copies of these articles are not included in this study.  I may include them at a later date if I can obtain them.

    1950.  The Merck Manual:  Eighth Edition.  The first six editions of the Merck Manual, starting in 1899, were pharmaceutical references which listed medicinal remedies for specific conditions.  Starting with the Sixth Edition in 1934, the Merck Company started to include diagnostic indications but did not include pediatric, psychiatric or psychological sections.  Therefore, I have not included the editions prior to 1950. 
    The Eighth Edition was the first to contain a section on Neuropsychiatric and Psychosomatic conditions, none of which are recognizable as descriptive of FASD behavior.
    In modern times, the Merck Manual is considered to be the "medical handbook" for medical and ancillary medical personnel. It is used as a reference, diagnostic and therapeutic  guide.  

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Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Subject: FAS from 1926-1938
Time: 3:53:53 PM EDT
Author:  psoba

   1926.   In 1926, a professor of psychology at Harvard College, Dr. William McDougall, discussed the issues of cause in his book, An Outline of Abnormal Psychology  published by Metheun and Company, London.  In his introduction, Dr. McDougall states, "The whole field of of abnormal psychology falls into two corresponding divisions, concerned, respectively, with the organic and functional disorders."  He goes on to say, "Owing to the immense difficulties of research in the organic division... The functional division is, at the present time, much more profitable for the student of human nature."  His book therefore deals mainly with the functional division of abnormal psychology. 
    What, then, is the organic division?  The organic division of psychology believes there is a physical cause for behavior.   This would include changes in the brain due to the environment or genetics, such as lead/mercury poisoning, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy or the inherent damage might be found in the genes.  Modern psychology's tools for finding "organic" causes have only begun with the advent of functional MRIs, gene studies and increasingly sensitive tests for chemical imbalances and absences.
    The functional division of abnormal psychology believes "...there is something besides that permits the nervous to take refuge just in disease, while there are other means of evading difficulties."  In other words, the brain is normal but events and situations cause it to revert to unhealthy techniques for coping.  The implication for treatment is the recognition of the impropriety of the behavior and then the modification of that behavior. 


     1927.  Feldman, W.M.  "Alcohol in Ancient Jewish Literature."  British Journal of Inebriety.  

     1931.   Dr. Franz Alexander and Hugo Staub in Germany wrote The Criminal, The Judge and the Public. which described the neurotic criminal.  
    "Not infrequently, he rejects the crime unconsciously and this rejection is brought to light through irrational self injury, which serves the purpose of self punishment."
    "...the transgressions are acompulsive nature."
     "Kleptomania, hydromania, compulsive lying and betrayal, belong to this type of crime."
    "...unable to give a very definite account as to why he committed a given crime." 
    "(Freud described) 'individuals who break as a result of success.'" 
    "...irrational behavior, which is motivated by unconscious causes..."
    "...totally lacks insight into his illness." 
    "...tendency to self injury..."
    "...suffers from a neurosis without symptoms..."
    "...impossible to classify him in accordance with existing diagnostic tables."
    "These individuals have a very dramatic fate: they are driven through life by a demonic impulse..."
    "...they always succeed in being punished quite unjustly (unjustly a least from their subjective point of view)..."
    "...the punishment with which he is threatened cannot intimidate him and therefore deter him from his behavior, because...he feels the need of punishment and therefore welcomes the severity of the law; quite often he even actively seeks punishment..."
    "To punish such individuals is psychologically meaningless and sociologically harmful."
 Alexander states that these people are very curable.  However, he does not state if the "cure" was observed over a long term period nor if the patients were ever re-examined.  As many FAS families can attest, it is common for their children to convince therapists that they can understand their behaviors and can also change them accordingly but return to their previous behavior within a short time span.
 [Franz Alexander's work is also discussed in Karl Menninger's work, Man Against Himself, published in 1938.]
               G.P. Fretz in Alcohol and the Other Germ Poisons.  The Hague, the Netherlands:  Martinus Nijhoff.  Quote from Streissguth's Fetal Alcohol SyndromeA Guide for Families and Communities:  "The germ injurious effect of alcohol is accepted by most authors, doubted by some, and denied by a few."

    1932.  Durham, F.M. and Woods, H.M.  Alcohol and Inheritance:  An Experimental Study.  (Medical Research Council, Special Report Series No. 168)  London:  H.M. State Office.

******************************************************************************    1932:  Charles R. Stockard on "The Effects of Alcohol in Development and Heredity."  Alcohol and Man.  Ed. H. Emerson.  New York:  MacMillan.  At this time, Stockard had changed his 1910-1914 stance on maternal consumption of alcohol and instead declared that there was no connection between maternal drinking and harm to the fetus.  It is believed part of this stemmed from the criticism of his experimental animal subjects whose purebred genetic backgrounds were believed to be prone to natural degeneration.


    1938.  Man Against Himself by Karl Menninger.  Dr. Karl Menninger was a psychiatric icon in the Midwest, most importantly known for his Menninger's Clinic, formerly located in Topeka, Kansas.  His Man Against Himself was written in the hope of applying an intellectual methodology toward solving some of the more unusual problems in psychiatry.  Menninger discusses several types of self destructive behavior including suicide, hypochondria, self mutilation, sexual dysfunctions, and alcoholism.  However, he also describes a type of anti-social personality which he calls the Neurotic Character.
     In Chapter Four of the Antisocial Personality, Section A of the book that deals with alcohol and addiction, Menninger describes the "Neurotic Character"  as "...(a) form of chronic self destruction, disguised aggressive behavior, is quite similar to alcoholism except that the individual ruins himself in inexpedient conduct ..."
    Menninger goes on to describe this person more completely:
    "...not a single injurious act but a certain consistent 'bad'...behavior."
    "...always successful in failing"
    "In older psychiatric categories these patients were called psychopathic personalities and by this term, they are still known by the majority of psychiatrists."
    "..on account of their provocativeness, aggressiveness, and inexplicable bad judgment..."
    "...driven by their consciences to bring about a punishment which a more normal person would  avoid."
    Menninger goes on to describe a case that had been previously researched by Franz Alexander, a German contemporary, who, Menninger felt, was the most thorough expert on the neurotic character:
    "...son of wealthy and aristocratic Boston parents who were the chief victims..."
    "By the age of seven he had already done considerable petty stealing...and spending it on candy."
    "He was expelled (from school) repeatedly."
    "He began sexual activities at a very early age..."
    "...when admitted to a second preparatory school defied the authorities and his parents by refusing to study....this was not on account of any intellectual defect was clearly shown by subsequent psychometric tests which indicated his intelligence to be definitely superior."
    "He admitted with engaging candor that he did not know why he persistently got himself into so much trouble..."
    Menninger attributes the young man's behavior to an early parental preference for the sister over the baby brother (Alexander's patient).  It is to be noted however, that his mother was an extreme disciplinarian and was given to dressing him in girls clothing and allowing his hair to grow long and curly.  Such revelations however, failed to curb the young boy's tendencies and he continued to commit petty crimes into adulthood.
    "All of his drinking, stealing, forging, raping, car smashing, fighting, and so on failed to achieve for him any substantial gain."
    "He was constantly in trouble, actually unhappy."
    " he deliberately arranged to punish himself, he would vigorously deny that he had even so much as a sense of guilt..."
   Another case of Franz Alexander's was cited by Menninger in which the child was also from a well to do family and was also "compelled" to steal although, "He stated frankly that something he did not know what, drove him to steal and that his behavior was a puzzle to himself."  After a series of stays in correctional facilities, he distinguished himself by a heroic act in a prison catastrophe and was granted a pardon....only to "...(run) away and soon was implicated in a series of thefts and burglaries in another state."  A psychiatrist who examined him at a later date said he did not have normal criminal impulses but "..committed criminal acts because of an inner compulsion."
    A subsection to Section A of the Neurotic Character is titled "Passive Neurotic Aggression".  In this section Menninger describes individuals who fail at nearly every opportunity in life.  Given large amounts of money and property by relatives and friends, these people nevertheless tend to lose the money and/or property due to bad judgment calls and inadequately thought out decisions.  In the end, "...he has the mad satisfaction of many a wild, impulsive fling...a throwing away of life for momentary satisfactions."
    Menninger never did ascribe the cause of these personality problems to maternal drinking. 
    [Note:  personality disorders are included in the Axis II section of the DSM.]

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Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Subject: FAS from 1900 to 1925
Time: 3:05:39 PM EDT
Author:  psoba

 1900-1949.  A 26 page study, "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring:  An Historical Survey of American and British Literature." by Rebecca Warner and Henry L. Rosett. (1975)  The Journal of Studies on Alcohol. cites 33 articles written in this time period that warn against the dangers of drinking while pregnant.  Copies of these articles are not included in this study.  I may include them at a later date if I can obtain them.

    1900.  "Passage de l'alcohol ingere de la mere su foetus et passage de l'alcohol dans le lait, en particular chez la femme." Obstetriq.  by M. Nicloux.  5.  97-132.  In Streissguth's Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:  A Guide for Families and Communities, she says he   "...documented in dogs, sheep and humans that alcohol consumed by a mother passed through to her milk and then on to her suckling offspring." 

    From a journal article, "Alcohol and the Antenatal Child Welfare" by Dr. J.W. Ballantyne in The British Journal of Inebriety, on the research of M. Nicloux,  "Nicloux...found alcohol in the cord, the placenta, and the blood of the child...  He found, too, that alcohol passes into the milk..."

    1901.  Bezzola, D.A.  (1901)  "A Statistical Investigation into the Role of Alcohol in the Origin of Innate Imbecility."  Quarterly Journal of Inebriety.  

    Paul Ladrague wrote "Acoolisme et Enfants."  These pour le doctorat en Medicine.  (Alcoholism and  Infants.  Doctoral Dissertation.)  Paris:  Universite de Paris, Faculte de Medicine. (Paris, University of Paris, Faculty of Medicine.)  According to Dr. Ann Streissguth in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:   A Guide for Families and Communities, (he) "...reported from personal observation that alcoholic mothers had a high proportion of spontaneous abortions, weak and poorly developed infants, early infant demise and epilepsy, idiocy among their children.  He also presented 10 cases in which infants who were breast-fed by mothers or wet nurses who were alcoholic exhibited diarrhea, vomiting, extreme agitation and convulsions."

    1903.  Hodge, C.F., "The Influence of Alcohol on Growth and Development."  In   Atwater, W.O. et al., eds. Physiological Aspects of the Liquor Problem.    Boston:  Houghton, Mifflin.

    1905.  "A Study of the Effects of Alcohol on School Children."  Quarterly Journal of Inebriety.  by T.A. McNicholl.   I have this citation but have been unable to locate the original article.

    1907.  Aiken, J.M.  "Brain and Nerve Degeneration."  Journal of Inebriety.  

    1909.  From a lecture by U.S. Congressman Richmond Pearson Hobson as reported in Drugs in America:  A Documentary History.  Edited by David. F. Musto.  (2002)  New York:  New York University Press.  "Dr. Laitinen of the University of Helsingfors reports in the Proceedings of the International Congress on Alcoholism.  'These investigation uncover the degenerating effect of even the most temperate drinking by parents upon their children, showing the general use of 'light wine' or 'light beer' must in time bring about the disintegration of any family, and the decline and downfall of any nation.'"   

    1910-1914.  Three papers by Charles R. Stockard of Cornell University:
1910:  "Influence of Alcohol and other Anaesthetics On Embryonic Development." American Journal of Anatomy.  10.  369-392. 
1913:  "Alcoholic Injuries to Germ Cells."  American Naturalist.
1914:  "Alcoholic Injuries to Germ Cells."   Journal of Heredity
     A quote from Dr. William Healy, page 263 of The Individual Delinquent (1918),  reads, "A fine example of controlled experiment is that by Stockard, who has most cautiously studied the effect of alcohol on the germ cells of animals.  He finds that the degeneracy caused by alcohol may be passed on by degenerate offspring."  The majority of subjects in Healy's book were entire families affected by alcoholism.
    Stockard's experiments were considered to be among the most influential of his time.  However, he did cause his experimental subjects to inhale the alcohol fumes rather than ingest the liquid and his subjects were often purebred dogs whose genetic dispositions were often questionable.

    1910-1911:  Keynes, J.M.  "Influence of Parental Alcoholism."  Journal of the Royal Stat. Society.  

     1910.  Hoppe, H.  "Procreation During Intoxication."  (Translated and abridged by Brown, K.O.)  Journal of Inbriety.  32.  105-110.

     K. Pearson and E.M. Elderton.  A First Study of the Influence of Parental Alcoholism.  (2nd ed.)  London:  University of London. Quote from Dr. Ann Streissguth in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:  A Guide for Families and Communities,   "...after studying several hundred children in Edinburgh, Scotland, that short stature was associated only with maternal, not paternal, alcoholism."

    Ribakoff, F. Ye.  "Heredity and Alcoholism:  Statistical Investigation Based on 2,000  Cases."  Journal of Nevropathology i Psikhiatry.  Korsakova, Mask.  

    Sazhin, I.V. (1910)  "Alcohol and Heredity".  Russk.  Vratch

    1912.  Abstract of A. Gordon's article, "Parental Alcoholism in Mental Deficiency of Children." in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Gordon's study involved 298 cases of mental deficiency.  He states that he only reported on the living members of the family.  He also noted that several children died at a very tender age or very early.  The survivors "presented mental and physical stigmata of degeneracy.  Therefore, one must logically conclude that the effect of alcoholism on the offspring is most disastrous."

    1913.  Davenport, C.B.  "Alcoholism in a Rural Community of Defectives."  Journal of Inebriety.  

    The Kallikak Family:  A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness by Henry Herbert Goddard, published in 1913.  This book originally started out as a study of feeblemindedness.  In 1995, a group of researchers, lead by Robert J. Karp, re-examined Goddard's study and came to the conclusion that Goddard had actually been studying a family comprised of several adults with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  Goddard had originally believed the father, Martin Kallikak was the carrier of the "feeblemind" gene.  However, his marriage to a "normal' woman produced a majority of "normal" children while his illicit affair with a "feebleminded" woman produced a majority of children and grandchildren with physical and behavioral characteristics that Karp ascribes to FAS.
    Photos of members of the family also show the facial features associated with full FAS.
(Photos may be found at

    1914.  Excerpt from Drugs in America:  A Documentary History.  Edited by David. F. Musto.  (2002)  New York:  New York University Press.  Testimony of U.S. Congressman Richmond Pearson Hobson in the debate over Prohibition.  " blights the offspring; it attacks the tender tissues associated with reproduction in both male and female;  it affects the tender system of the embryo in the prenatal period.  For both parents to be simply moderate drinkers, to drink but once a day beer or wine will quadruple the chance of miscarriage for the mother, increasing 400 per cent the suffering and danger of maternity, will increase nearly 100 per cent the number of children who die in the first year of infancy.  The children of a drinking person die off at a rate of from four to fives times as many as those of abstaining parents.  Do not talk of prohibition invading the rights of individuals--liquor blights the rights of our citizens before they are born." 

    Cole, L.J. and Davis, C.L.  "The Effect of Alcohol on the Male Germ Cells, Studied by Means of Double Matings."  Science

    1916.  Dr. J.W. Ballantyne in the Journal of the American Medical Association,  "Alcohol and the Development of the Fetus."  "Alcohol is a danger to antenatal health and a menace to to antenatal life at every one of the stages of that existence and through each of the progenitors."

    Gordon, A.  "The Influence of Alcohol on the Progeniture."  Int. Med. Journal.  

    1917.  Ballantyne, J.W.  "Alcohol and Antenatal Child Welfare."  British Journal of Inebriety.  Dr. Ballantyne makes another educated argument for not drinking during pregnancy.  But what makes this journal article interesting is the bibliography.  Dr. Ballantyne has collected journal articles on alcohol and pregnancy from all over Europe.  There are 38 references from France, 31 from Germany, 10 from Italy, 4 from Switzerland, 3 from Austria, 2 from Finland, the Netherlands, and Spain and 1 each from Russia, Sweden, and Yugoslavia.

    1918.  The Individual Delinquent by William Healy, MD, published in 1918.  Dr. Healy was a meticulous researcher who was the director of the Psychopathic Institute, Juvenile Court of Chicago and an associate professor of Mental and Nervous Diseases of the Chicago Policlinic.  His massive work of over 800 pages documents his study of young people who consistently got themselves into trouble during the last part of the 1800s and the first part of the 1900s. 
    Of particular interest is this Section 152, titled Alcoholism During Pregnancy.  "Difficulty that there is in understanding the bad effect of alcohol upon germ cells is not paralleled by its obviously easy influence upon the growing fetus.  Alcohol circulates with great ease through such membranes as separate the mother's blood from the embryonic circulation, and thus the growing brain cells are bathed in it in proportion as the mother takes it into her person.  So the drinking mother stands a very good chance, by all accounts, of bringing forth children with defective or unstable nervous systems.  We know the relation, in turn, of these abnormalities to human inefficiency and to criminalism.
    "Proofs of the above as a cause are, very naturally, vitiated by the fact that a later defective environment practically always is also a factor.  Indeed, in cases where we heard of the mother's alcoholism during pregnancy, we found there was so much else that might account for the child's bad conduct that we have been obliged to refrain from ever including this as a main factor.  As in the case of probable alcoholic deterioration of germ cells (vide Section 194) proofs of actual deterioration will have to come through direct physiological rather than through social and psychological studies."
    Section 194, parts b and c:  (b) Alcohol and Procreation.  The effect which the parent, being under the influence of alcohol at the time of procreation, may possibly have on the offspring stands on the border line between defective heredity and defective environmental conditions.  The time is probably not yet ripe for a definite statement upon this subject, but certainly one may assert the probably correctness of the view of those who hold that an undue amount of alcohol in the circulation of either parent at the time of procreation may be the cause of degeneracy of the offspring. 
    (c)  Antenatal Conditions.  We have already sufficiently discussed this point in Section 152.  There cannot be the slightest doubt that the ingestion of alcohol by the pregnant mother may have a very deleterious effect upon the nervous system of the unborn child.
    Some of the characteristics Healy tested for were memory, ability to give testimony (attention to detail), attention, motor coordination, associative process, perception of form and color relationships, learning ability, ability to profit from experience, language ability, arithmetical ability, mental representation and analysis, foresight and planfulness, visual perception and analysis, judgment and discrimination, suggestibility, will power, apperception (recognition of the relationship of parts to parts and then to other more generalized things), moral discrimination, and ability to follow instructions.
    Some interesting chapters in Healy's book: 
Chapter VII:  Influence of Pictures especially Moving Pictures
Chapter XVII:  Defects in Special Mental Abilities...language deficits...defect in arithmetical  
             abilities...defect in judgment and foresight...defect in self control.
Chapter XXIII:  Abnormal Social Suggestibility
Chapter XXV:  Pathological Lying and Accusation
Chapter XXVI:  Love of Excitement and Adventure
Chapter XXVII:  Kelptomania...Pyromania...Suicide...Vagabondage
    Healy did not propose any form of treatment or therapy, rather he simply asked for the recognition of the various factors that comprised the behavior of the "delinquent" child.
    [It is interesting to note that a later researcher, Dr. Hervey Cleckley in 1941, felt there was no connection between the patients he was observing and the subjects of Healy's text.]

    Glueck, B.A.  "A Study of 608 Admissions to Sing Sing Prison."  Mental Hygiene.  .

    1920-1933.  The Volstead Act / Eighteenth Amendment / Prohibition.  A paper by Philip Pauly, (1996) "How Did the Effects of Alcohol on Reproduction Become ScientificallyUninteresting in the Early Twentieth Century?"  Journal of the History of Biology,  says that one factor was the illegalization of alcohol made unnecessary to study the effects of alcohol consumption.  Other readings I have done indicate that women in the work force after World War I and questions about research methodologies also influenced the decline in research.

******************************************************************************    1923-1930.  The Hanson Papers.  Between 1923 and 1930, Frank B. Hanson wrote a number of scientifically influential papers that took a neutral approach in regard to maternal drinking causing  problems in the unborn child.  This, in effect, made further research into the problem of maternal drinking, a scientific dead-end.  (from Philip Pauly, "How did the Effects of Alcohol on Reproduction Become Scientifically Uninteresting in the Early Twentieth Century."  Journal of the History of Biology

    1925.  George, M.D.  (Reprinted in 1965) London Life in the Eighteenth Century.  New York:  Capricorn.


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Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Subject: FAS in the 1800s
Time: 10:04:15 AM EDT
Author:  psoba

  1800s   There is a 26 page article, "The Effects of  Drinking on Offspring:  An Historical Survey of American and British Literature" by Rebecca Warner and Henry L. Rosett (1975) in The Journal of Alcohol Studies which cites 19 articles written in this time period that warn against the use of alcohol when pregnant.  The complete articles are not presently included in this study but I have included the citations in the year they were written.

    1812.  Formation of the Massachusetts' Society for the Suppression of Intemperance.

    Rush, B.  An Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spiritis upon the Human Body and Mind:  with an Account of the Means of Preventing, and the Remedies for Curing Them.  Boston:  Manning and Loring.

    1813.  Trotter, T.  An Essay, Medical, Philosophical, and Chemical on Drunkenness and Its Effects on the Human Body.  Boston:  Bradford and Read.

    1826.  Formation of the American Temperance Society

    1827.  Beecher, L.  Six Sermons on the Nature, Occasions, Signs, Evils and Remedy of Intemperance.  Boston:  Crocker and Brewster.
    1831.  Gooch, R.  (Skinner, G., ed)  A Pratical Compedium of Midwifery. London:  Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green.
    1837.  Ryan, M.  The Philosphy of Marriage in Its Social, Moral and Physical Relationships.  London:  John Churchill.

    1841-1842.  Beaumont, T.  "Remarks Made in Opposition to the Views of Dr. Clutterbuck."  Lancet

    1847.  Edwards, J.  The Temperance Manual.  New York:  American Tract Society.

    1848.  Forbes, J.  The Physiological Effects of Alcoholic Drinks.  Boston:  Massachuetts Temperance Society.
    Howe, Samuel G.,  Report Made to the Legislature of Massachuetts on Idiocy.  Boston:  Coolidge and Wiley.  Although couched in the language of the times, Howe does indicate the concern that alcohol consumption by parents, with particular mention of the mother, affects the minds and physical outcomes of the children.

    1857. Stevens, J.P.  "Some of the Effects of Alcohol upon the Physical Constitution of Man."  Sth. Medical Surgical Journal.  As of this date, I have been unable to locate a copy of this citation.

    1872.  Bessey, W.E.  "On the Use of Alcoholic Stimulants by Nursing Mothers."  Canadian Medical Record.  As of this time, I have been unable to locate a copy of this citation.

    1873.  Beginning of the Women's Crusade which later became the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

    1876.  Dr. John Haddon in "On Temperance in Women with Special Reference to Its Effects on the Reproductive System."  British Medical Journal, wrote, "On her family the effects of intemperance are strongly marked. Children born at the full time (of her intemperance) are generally weak and puny, and likely to fall at an early age victims to disease. is possible that a large proportion of our excessive infant mortality may be due to the malnutrition of the embryo, caused by the use of alcohol."  Dr. Haddon goes on to say, "...however much it may please the palate and raise our spirits, (wine) is hurtful in health and in disease, requires the utmost discrimination in its use."

    1876-1897.  Criminal Man by Cesare Lombroso, published in five editions from 1876 to 1897.  This book was one of the first to ever attempt to classify criminals by inherited physical features rather than condemning the criminal for purposeful acts against society.  Lombroso felt that criminals, in general, had certain physical characteristics that indicated that criminality is an inherent trait rather than assumed from the environment.   (From Born to Crime:  Cesare Lombroso and the Origins of Biological Criminology by Mary Gibson. 2002.)
    Some of the physical features were:  small heads, protruding cheekbones*, flat noses, large ears, deformed skulls, greater height and weight*, protruding jaws, lack of muscular strength, and little sensitivity to pain.  In particular, Lombroso was interested in the size of the head.  (*Note:  characteristics not normally found in people with full FAS.)
    Lombroso also refers to behavioral characteristics such as the lack of remorse, inability to control their passions, laziness and ineptness at crime because of the repetitiveness of their behavior.  (Note:  Repetitiveness might be interpreted as the inability to learn from one's mistake.)
    Lombroso also had a theory of degeneration which "explain physical and psychological malformations that had resulted from fetal disease rather than inherited weakness....Their development blocked in the womb, babies could thus be 'born' with predisposition to crime..."
Others from his school of thought also noted that these people had evidently been unable to transition from childhood to adulthood, had hands like apes (simian crease?) and noted that many were descended from alcoholics.  Lombroso also had a category which he called The Morally Insane.  The Morally Insane, he stated, were "people who looked normal but were unable to distinguish between good and evil behavior."  They were identical to other criminals because of "...their compulsion to harm others and their lack of remorse." These people also exhibited a lack of physical sensitivity.  [Note:  Lombroso's work fell into disrepute as his observations were used to justify racial profiling and may have been included as a part of the propaganda that produced the German Aryan race "theory".  However, many people in the modern justice system and in social work still call some children "FLK" or "funny looking kid"; a remnant of the Lombroso studies on physical characteristics.]

    1877.  Fournier., E.H.  Annual Oration.  Transcript of  Medical Association Alabama.  As of this date, I have been unable to obtain a copy of this citation.

    1879.  Long, J.F.  "Use and Abuse of Alcohol."  Transcript of Medical Society of  North Carolina.  As of this date, I have been unable to locate a copy of this citation.

    1880.  Prohibition Party was started.
    1883.  McDaniel, W.H.  "The Effect of Alcohol Upon the Foetus Through the Blood of the Mother."  Maryland Medical Journal.  

    1890.  Dr. T. D. Crothers' article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "Alcoholic Heredity in Diseases of Children".   Crothers notes of two children whose parents were alcoholics, "...both invalids, and had been under constant medical care from infancy, the general diagnosis being scrofula (a skin disease), and general anaemia; both were of pale and delicate appearance, extremely excitable and nervous.  They had continuous irritation of the stomach...were very passionated at the slightest opposition to their wishes, and after a period of rage would be greatly exhausted and have a distinct fever for a day or more." 
    Their family physician found that "...both had suffered from rubeola and scarlatina (scarlet fever), and were supposed to never have fully recovered. Bronchitis, enteritis, gastritis, neuritis, and various heart diseases were constantly threatening."  A new physician recognized the alcoholic heredity of these cases and ordered "...(their) diet restricted and enforced exercise...and frequent bathing."
    Crothers goes on to state, "No fact is more firmly established than that alcoholic ancestors will transmit to their children a defective brain and nerve power.  The form and shape of this defect and its manifestations will vary greatly.
    "In many cases, it might not be prominent until after the higher peripheral brain has reached a certain development, especially in the growth of the emotional and inhibitory centers.  In others this defect is seen in infancy, in an abnormal hyperaesthesia of the senses, and nutrient disturbances.  Some children manifest irritation at all sounds, and all changes of light and surroundings by continuous crying; the skin of the alimentary canal is also very sensitive, and various skin disorders and nutrient troubles follow.  Low powers of vitality and slow irregular growth are common.  This condition may continue for years, then gradually disappear, and only re-appear at puberty..."
    Crothers notes of some other children of alcoholics, " their precocious development of brain and nerve force.  They exhibit powers of brain receptivity and instability that is called genius, which gives way early to some disease or form of nerve degeneration from various causes."  He goes to note, "...their extreme sensitiveness or obtuseness to sensory impressions, and low powers of vitality and recuperation..."
    Other symptoms that are noted are, "...extremes of activity, particularly where there is a tendency to the sudden liberation of nerve energies, as in violent passion (grief or joy) or work, play or study, which is followed by extreme prostration.  The child is said to be sullen, morose, or melancholy, then suddenly manifests the other extremes, indicating a great instability of brain cells and functional control.  (The child's) life seems to be threatened with fevers, prostrations, and inanitions (state of being empty), accompanied by mental irritations and wandering neuralgias...they always point to a degree of nerve and brain degeneration or retarded development, and defective co-ordination..."
    Crothers states, "From these facts it will be obvious that the diseases of children of alcoholic parentage are far more complex, and require greater care."  Interestingly, he recommends the following care:  "1.  No form of alcohols are safe...  2.  The diet should not include meats of any kind...the diet should always be non-stimulating and farinaceous (rich in starch), and should be carried out with military regularity.  3.  ...avoid brain and nerve stimulation...  4.  ...(guard) against every possible extreme, both in the surroundings and physical conditions." 

    1893.  "The Effect of Alcoholic Intoxication Upon the Human Brain and Its Relation to the Theories of Heredity and Evolution."  Quarterly Journal of Inebriety.  By A.H. Forel.   I have not be able to find a copy of this article  but in an anonymous editorial in a 1910 Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 54.  617., the writer states. "...Forel in particular, having contended that alcoholism injures the germinative cells; he supported this view with statistics from asylums for the insane and epileptic, and gave to the alteration in the germinative cells the title of 'blastophtorie'."

    1895.  Anti-Saloon League was formed.

    1895.  Dr. Lloyd Andriezen at the Neurological Society of London as reported in Journal of the American Medical Association,  "Alcoholism and Its Relation to Heredity."  Dr. Andriezen states,   "...that the more frequent results of alcoholic parentage showing its expression in the offspring, viz; (1) imbecility and weak-mindedness; (2)  infantile convulsions and meningitis; (3)  a large proportion of still births; and (4) brutal degradation and incapacity in the children, with tics and impulses, including hereditary drink-craving.   ...The inebriate as a result of his habits transmitted to the offspringa damaged or diseased germ (ovum and spermatozoon), and even the most healthy married couple could from temporary intoxication do the same and beget a child which might exhibit one or another of the abnormalities above mentioned."

    1898.  Ballantyne, J.W.  "The Pathology of Ante-Natal Life."  Glasgow  Medical Journal

    1899.  From the notes of a discussion in the Journal of the American Medical Association,  "Alcoholism and Its Relation to Heredity."  Dr. Seymour Turke "...insisted on the fact that inebriety in the parents resulted in damage to all the tissues of the body--some more than others--and must affect the ovum or the foetus according to the period when the drinking began."
      Dr. Fletcher Beach "...emphasized the fact that imbecility and even idiocy resulted in the children from parental intemperance...The effect of alcohol reaching the ovum and germ elements by the circulation could not for a moment be doubted..." 
    The (unnamed) President of the section "...summed up the discussion, referring to the special fact of some form of nervous or mental instability being transmitted to the children of alcoholic subjects and stated that the evidence of facts in this direction in the field of mental disease was overwhelming."

    "A Note on the Influence of Maternal Inebriety on the Offspring."  Journal of Mental Science. (1899) by W.C. Sullivan and Stewart Scholar.  Both Sullivan and Scholar were medical officers in British prisons.  This study was conducted in the women's prison in Liverpool.
    The main point of this study was to determine the number of fetal and early childhood deaths of children born to women who drink.  As can be expected, the death rate climbs in a direct relation to the birth order of the child.  First born children seem to be less affected, but as the birth order increases, so does the probability of death or epilepsy (an older term  for convulsions which may or may not be caused by epilepsy).
     The website of Davidson College, N.C.  < seminar/studfold/ Fall/Embryo/ethanol/ EthanolontheBrain.html> has this quote from Sullivan and Scholar,  "Maternal inebriety is a condition peculiarly unfavourable to the vitality and to the normal development of offspring.  Its gravity in this respect is considerably greater than that of paternal alcoholism.  There is a tendency to still births and abortions, and a high rate of epilepsy in the surviving children. This influence of alcohol is in part due to a direct toxic action on the embryo."
    The University of Duisburg Essen's German site, < alkemb/FASinfo/depubrig. htm> quotes Sullivan and Scholar as having written, "...that pregnancies of these women resulted in stillbirths and infant death, 2 1/2 times more often than those of their sober female relatives."  Also, "...that infants born to alcoholic mothers had a starved, shriveled and imperfect look."


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Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Subject: FAS in the 1700s
Time: 1:12:16 AM EST
Author:  psoba

  1700s  From a 26 page study, "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring:  An Historical Survey of American and British Literature."  by Rebecca Warner and Henry l. Rosett. (1975)  The Journal of Studies on Alcohol.  lists 4 articles written in this time period that refer to the dangers of drinking while pregnant.  The complete articles are not presently included in this study but I have included the citations in the year they were written.
    1725. from a chapter, "British Physicians on the Dangers of Alcohol:  Petition to the House of Commons." in Drugs in America:  A Documentary History by David F. Musto. (2002).  In 1725, London physicians petitioned the British House of Commons to solve the unbridled consumption of distilled spirits using as one of their arguments that distilled alcohol affected the parents who were "...too often the cause of weak feeble  and distempered children, who must be, instead, of an advantage and strength, a charge to their country." 
    Sedgewick, J.  (1725)  A New Treatise on Liquors, wherein the Use and Abuse of Wine, Malt-Drinks, Water etc. are Particularly Consider'd in Many Diseases, Constitutions and Ages; with the Proper Manner of Using Them, hot, Cold, either as Physick, Diet or Both.  London:  Charles Rivington.

    1730.  From Drugs in America:  A Documentary History edited by David F. Musto (2002), excerpts from an essay by Stephen Hales, an Anglican priest and an early researcher on the effects of alcohol.  Please note that Hale was referring to distilled spirits.  Like many of his time, he believed that brewed alcohol contained no such dangers; many people today still believe this.
    "Nay, the unhappy influence of these liquors reaches much farther than to the destruction of those who indulge in the use of them, even to their posterity, to the children that are yet unborn.  Of this we have we have too frequent instances, where the unhappy mothers habituate themselves to these distilled liquors, whose children, when first born, are often either of a diminutive, pigmy size, or look withered and old, as if they had numbered many years, when they have not, as yet, alas! attained to the evening of the first day.  How many more instances are there of children, who tho' born with good constitutions have unhappily sucked in the deadly spirituous poison with their nurses' milk."
    Hales goes on to express his opinion.  "Whence it is evident that in proportion as the contagion spreads father and farther among mankind, so must the breed of human species be  proportionately more and more depraved, and will accordingly degenerate more and more from the manly and robust constitution of preceding generations."

    1751.  Fielding, H. An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase in Robbers, etc. with Some Proposals for Remedying this Growing Evil.  London:  A.Millar.

William Hogarth prints a lithograph called "Gine Lane".  Modern researchers say the baby in the picture has features resembling a child with full Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

    1759.  Morris, C.  A Colletion of the Yearly Bills of Mortality from 1657 to 1758 Inclusive.  To which are Subjoined...III.  Observations on the past growth and present State of the City of London; reprinted from the edition printed at London.  London:  A. Millar.
    1781.  Foster, E.  The Principles and Practices of Midwifery.  London:  R. Baldwin.

    1785.  Dr. Benjamin Rush (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and described as the first psychiatrist in America) in Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirit Upon the Human Body, writing about alcoholics and their effect on their children.  He writes in part "...their children, filthy, and half clad, without manners, principles and morals!"  From Drugs in America:  A Documentary History edited by David. F. Musto.  (2002)  New York:  New York University Press.


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Sunday, February 13, 2005
Subject: FAS in the 1600s
Time: 11:08:12 AM EST
Author:  psoba

    1450.  Gutenberg Press invented.  Books printed after this period were expensive and rare.  Because of the exclusivity of education to the upper classes, the majority of the population during the 15th and 16th centuries could neither read nor write.

    1621.  Ibid from A. Lynn Martin.  Martin mentions the work of Burton's Anatomy of Melancholia (1621), in which he talks of ancient Greek scholars and the topic of drinking during sexual activities and the outcome of the children.  Burton's work is also cited in Warner and Rosett (ibid).
    1627.  Sir Francis Bacon in Sylva Sylbarum (p.665) writes, "...if the mother eat onions or beans, or such vaporous food; or drink wine or strong drink immoderately; or fast too much; endangereth the child to become lunatic, or of imperfect memory..."  From Ernest Abel's Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects (1884).

    1638.  Another writer in Martin's article in Food and Foodways, Richard Young in his The Drunkard's Character (1638) writes, "...many of our children are half killed before they are born with distempered drink."
    Note:  Martin also found three references by 17th Century  writers who blamed the drinking of the fathers for the behaviors of their offspring.
    At the end of her journal piece, Martin asks, "What became of of those born with fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol effects who survived?  Did the world we have lost contain many people who were hyperactive with poor attention spans, who behaved in an impulsive and uninhibited manner, and who had low intelligence?"
    (Note:  An FAS family from Canada has surmised that many of these children were probably placed in a religious setting.  The strict rules and unwavering schedules would have been perfect for adults dealing with the problematic life of FASD.)

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Subject: FAS in Antiquity
Time: 3:34:41 PM EST
Author:  psoba

 Significance of Study

    For many years, it has been assumed that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a "new" malady.  Although the etiology of the disorder was first mentioned in 1968 paper by Dr. Paul Lemoine, it does not mean that the symptoms were not recognized years if not centuries before.  Although not each citation is a study in the earlier centuries, it is evident that these observations detected a connection between drinking alcohol and the unsuccessful outcomes for the resultant offspring by several observers.  As scientific procedures were applied in the 20th Century, notes and case studies seem to more clearly reflect an obvious pattern of behavior that might indicate that these modern researchers were observing children with prenatal alcohol exposure.  And if they wrote about these children/adults and included chapters on them, then there must have been enough cases appearing on a regular basis that they felt the behaviors and their observations were more than an errant anomaly.
    There has often been a question as to the frequency of occurrence of FASD.  Many researchers ask, "If maternal alcohol consumption is such a problem, why did we not hear about it before 1968?  Modern estimates have ranged from 9.7 per 10,000 births to almost 1 per 100.  The lower estimates do not reflect the occurrence of the non-physical forms of FAS [also called Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), partial FAS (pFAS), Prenatal Effects of Alcohol (PEA), Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD) and Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND)...all of which are now grouped under the term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)], where only the brain is affected.  FAE, pFAS, PEA, ARBD, ARND or FASD without the physical signs is thought to occur 3-5 times more often than the full FAS which has both physical and behavioral manifestations.   Studies are seldom done on conditions that rarely occur.  Therefore, the existent studies and records of conditions that closely resemble FASD but not properly named could mean that un-named FASD cases existed in enough numbers to be observed and scientifically recorded as far back as the 16th Century.
     There are some important caveats to this study.  The researchers of this period were  limited by the number of patients they could see and the limitation of correspondence and publications available during their lifetimes.  Note that the Gutenburg Press was first developed in 1450.  Prior to that time, books were copied by hand and there was not any widespread use because of the prohibitive cost and educational exclusivity.  Also, books printed for a few centuries after the invention of the movable press are considered to be rare and difficult to obtain until the general population gained the ability to read and write and generated a greater interest in printed books and articles.    
    The words and phrases used in these studies are in the language of the period.  The labels and descriptive phrases do not necessarily have the same connotations then as they do now.  And the different combinations of the words often carry a much different meaning.   For example, having a neurosis is very different from having a neurotic character...the latter considered to be less definitive, more of a lifelong problem and less likely to have a program of treatment than an episodic condition that might be remedied.
     It is also important to note that each of the researchers appears to have recognized a particular facet of FASD without recognizing there are other behaviors that may be attributed to the same cause.  This is due to the nature of FASD which follows a wide spectrum of physical and behavioral characteristics.
    Finally, contrary to popular opinion, there are, in all probability, several hundred articles and books that have dealt with unrecognized FASD over the centuries.  I am constantly finding new ones.  If I have left some out, it was because I have not yet found them.  This present set of information probably represents only 20% of my current file.
    Items offset by a *** boundary are those articles that are considered to be pivotal in refuting the research that indicated that maternal drinking caused physical and mental problems in the offspring. I included them because they give an idea of when the researchers started to deny the connection between maternal drinking and fetal damage.   
    Editions of the Merck Manual for physicians and medical personnel (1950-2005) have been added in order to demonstrate what is being taught in psychiatry and psychology classes.  This includes description of the conditions and the treatments and/or recommended therapies.
    Notations on the printings of the Special Reports to Congress on Alcohol and Health (1978-2000) were added because of the extensive amount of current research that was presented in each report and because the bibliographies indicate the large number of researchers presently in the field.  It also marks the entrance of the federal government into the recognition of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
    Other notations on various landmark decisions, laws or studies on FAS were included to compare the action of the government and of the medical community.


    Biblical References.  Exodus, 20:5:  "...visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation..."  (Fathers, in this case, may be thought of as parents in general.) 

    Judges, 13:3-5:  " shall conceive and bear a son...take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean...for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb."  (Said to Samson's mother and not to the Jewish community in general.)

    814-146 B.C.  Carthage (city-state) in Northeast Africa.   From "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring" by Rebecca Warner and Henry L. Rosett in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, (1975.  Warner and Rosett mention that the ancient civilization of Carthage (814-146 B.C.) forbid the use of alcohol for newlyweds.  Cited from Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholia (1621).  This information has also been variously cited  J.P. Frank in System einer vollstandingen medicinischen Polizei (1784) and by Haggard and Jellinek in Alcohol Explored (1944). 

    725-371 B.C.  Sparta (city-state) in Greece.    From "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring" by Rebecca Warner and Henry L. Rosett in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, (1975.  Warner and Rosett mention that the ancient civilization of Sparta (725-371 B.C.) forbid the use of alcohol for newly weds.  This is cited from Robert Burton's work, Anatomy of Melancholia (1621). 

    Plutarche's Life of Lycurgus, on Sparta, "In order to the the good education of their youth, he went so far back as to take into consideration their veryconception and birth by regulating the marriages."  From an article in the British Medical Journal by Dr. John Haddon (1876).  [Plutarche also suggested that pregnant women exercise.]

   500 B.C.  Buddhism's Five Precepts warn against strong drink.  From East Asia:  The Great Tradition by Edwin Reischauer.  (1958) Harvard:  Harvard University Press. 

    427-347 B.C.  Plato's  Laws.  From "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring" by Rebecca Warner and Henry L. Rosett in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, (1975). 1397,  Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholia (1621) noted that Plato (427-347 B.C.) recommended that newly married couples forgo alcohol..."...that the child that is begotten may be sprung from the loins of sober parents."  The last quote is from Ernest Abel in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects (1984).

    322 B.C.  Aristole's Problemata.   From a journal study by A. Lynn Martin.  (2003) "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Europe, 1300-1700:  A Review of Data on Alcohol Consumption and a Hypothesis". Food and Foodways.  Martin mentions the work of Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholia (1621), in which he talks of ancient Greek authorities (Aristole in Problemata in 322, B.C.) who stated, " Foolish, drunken or hair-brained women, for the most part bring forth children like unto themselves, morose and languid."  

    120 A.D.  Plutarche in Symposiacs. From "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring" by Rebecca Warner and Henry L. Rosett in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, (1975),  Burton in Anatomy of Melancholia (1621) is also said to have quoted Plutarch (120 A.D.), " drunkard begets another..." 

    130-180 A.D.  Aulus Gellius (Roman).    From "The Effects of Drinking on Offspring" by Rebecca Warner and Henry L. Rosett in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, (1975),  Robert Burton reported Gellius (130-180 A.D.), a Roman diarist,  is cited as saying, "...if a drunken man get a child, it will never likely have a good brain."  

   200-500 A.D. Babylonian Talmud, Kehuboth, 32b, warns, "One who drinks intoxicating liquor will have ungainly children."  From Michael Dorris' The Broken Cord (1989).


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