Health and Neurobehavior in Adults with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

This study is investigating the long-term effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE) on health and neurodevelopment in adults. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy affects children but we have never studied how adults are affected. It is an open question if there are life-long problems in people who were exposed prenatally or if problems gradually get better as people grow up. To help understand this better, we are asking a group of adults who are now 35 to 45 years old who previously participated in our research to get back in touch with us. They can help us understand if PAE affects their health and mental health during middle adulthood. We are asking for help from people who were exposed  before they were born as well as from people who were not exposed who are a contrast group. Everyone will be asked to complete a health questionnaire that can be done on-line or by phone. Some of these volunteers will be asked to complete a more in-depth examination both remotely (questionnaires by phone or Zoom) and, when possible, at our office for a physical examination and lab tests. One of the lab tests involves measurement of cardiac function and oxygen use in their brain during a computer game. We will also collect blood samples that are being sent to Vancouver for analysis of immune function. Over a 4-year period, we are asking 240 people to complete the Health Questionnaire and 120 to complete the in-depth testing. Our colleagues in Seattle will be testing an equal number so that we can compare results in different parts of the country. 

COVID-19 UPDATE:  Due to the epidemic, we are carrying out most measures remotely, by phone, on-line or by ZOOM. We are following Emory University School of Medicine’s strict safety standards in all our research activities.

As a result of these studies, we hope to have a better understanding of how prenatal alcohol exposure affects adults as they get older. This information will be helpful to doctors in providing care and in social policy.

Quick facts about the Adult Health Study

  • This is the first study of adult health and FASD.
  • We are asking people to participate who have been part of this research for up to 40 years.
  • This study is part of the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD).
  • We are collaborating with scientists at other sites including the University of Washington in Seattle, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and the University of California at San Diego and San Diego State University.

Activities Include

  • Adult Health Survey
  • FASD Registry for Adults who want to continue to participate in research
  • In-Depth Assessment of Adults and Control participants in Atlanta and Seattle, the majority carried out remotely
  • Immunology Studies

Project Staff

Atlanta

Principal Investigator: Claire D. Coles, PhD
Co-Investigator:  Julie A. Kable, PhD
Project Coordinator: Alexandra Perez, PsyD
Research Coordinator: Kati Keebaugh, MPH (404) 712 9818
Recruitment: Sharron Paige-Whitaker 

Seattle

Principal Investigator: Therese Grant, PhD
Co-Investigator: Kay Kelly
Research Coordinator: Sandra Radin 

Vancouver 

Principal Investigator: Joanne Weinberg, PhD

San Diego

Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD
Consultant: Edward S. Riley, PhD.

Funding

The project is funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) as part of the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD4). It is located in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

Contact

If you have questions or want more information, call Kati Keebaugh at 404-712 9818 or email her at adulthealthstudy@emory.edu.