Two common drugs may prove to be treatments for fetal alcohol syndrome

Posted at 12:46 AM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 00:46:00-04

Two commonly used drugs have been shown to erase the learning and memory deficits caused by fetal alcohol syndrome when given after birth.

That's according to a Northwestern Medicine study that also newly identified a key molecular mechanism by which alcohol neurologically and developmentally harms babies in utero.

There is currently no treatment at all for fetal alcohol syndrome.

Northwestern scientists gave rat pups either thyroxine, a hormone that is lower in infants with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or metformin which lowers insulin levels that are often higher in alcoholics.

Both reversed the memory deficits and some of the molecular changes caused by maternal alcohol consumption.