Fetal alcohol syndrome is more common than we thought, according to Inquisitr, and studies show that binge drinking is the culprit.
"This is probably twice the rate that had been predicted previously," said Clinical Geneticist and President of Sanford Research Dr. H. Eugene Hoyme, according to Argus Leader. "But the studies that had been done previously didn't look for the complete continuum of kids being affected. They looked only for the most severely affected kids."
The study used over 1,400 first graders from Sioux Falls, S.D.
The biggest instigating factor was binge drinking before the baby's birth. Some women don't know they are pregnant, and continue drinking until they get a positive pregnancy test, but facial features are formed during the first 12 weeks of gestation, according to Argus Leader. Some women drink throughout their pregnancy and don't think that isolated events can cause learning disabilities in their child.
According to the CDC, one in 13 pregnant women consume alcohol.
"Mothers of these children tended to be weekend bingers rather than chronic alcoholic women and that the alcohol use was regardless of race or socio-economic background," Hoyme said, according to Argus Leader. "If the mother is drunk, the baby is drunk as well. The alcohol goes from the mother's blood through the placenta to the baby. In the baby, it will kill developing brain cells."
And brain damage is not reversible, according to scientists. The results of Hoyme's study have been published in Pediatrics.