Formerly known as MOFAS: Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Exciting News
from MOFAS

If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

Why PR%F

We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.

Why Alliance?

We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.

What's Next?

Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.

What Causes Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)?

pregnant person holding a glass of wine

The only known cause of FASD is prenatal alcohol exposure (alcohol use during pregnancy). Alcohol is a teratogen that crosses the placenta and can damage the central nervous system (including the brain) and other organs of the developing embryo/fetus.1 No more than two hours after maternal ingestion, the blood alcohol level of the fetus is the same as or higher than the mother’s.2

Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading preventable cause of birth defects in the United States.3 Prenatal alcohol exposure can cause a number of birth defects, including:

  • Microcephaly, a condition in which the baby’s head and brain are significantly smaller than expected4, 5
  • Abnormal facial development in the lip, mid-face, and eyes6
  • Structural brain defects7, 8

The effects of prenatal alcohol exposure are lifelong and can include FASD, a brain-based permanent disability that has wide-ranging effects. 9-13 Prenatal alcohol exposure may result in cognitive deficits related to executive function, learning, attention, language, memory, and visual spatial reasoning.14, 15

Because there is no known amount of alcohol that can be considered safe during pregnancy, it is advised by all major medical associations, including the Centers for Disease Control16, the American Academy of Pediatrics17, and the U.S. Surgeon General18, that if a person is pregnant or could become pregnant, they should abstain from drinking alcohol.

Are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant and worried about your drinking? Support is available.

Sources:

  1. Fitzpatrick JP, Pestell CF. Neuropsychological Aspects of Prevention and Intervention for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia. Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology. 2017;3(1):38-52.
  2. Burd L, Blair J, Dropps K. Prenatal alcohol exposure, blood alcohol concentrations and alcohol elimination rates for the mother, fetus and newborn. Journal of Perinatology. 2012;32(9):652-659.
  3. Williams JF, Smith VC. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Pediatrics. 2015;136(5):e1395-406.
  4. Feldman HS, et al. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Patterns and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects and Growth Deficiencies: A Prospective Study. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012;36(4):670-676.
  5. Treit S, Zhou D, Chudley AE, et al. Relationships between Head Circumference, Brain Volume and Cognition in Children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(2):1-15.
  6. Sawada Feldman H, Lyons Jones K, Lindsay S, et al. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Patterns and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects and Growth Deficiencies: A Prospective Study. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. 2012;36(4):670-676.
  7. Muralidharan P, Sarmah S, Feng C. Zhou, Marrs JA. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Associated Neural Defects: Complex Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutic Targets. Brain Sciences (2076-3425). 2013;3(2):964-991.
  8. Lewis SM, Vydrová RR, Leuthold AC, Georgopoulos AP. Cortical miscommunication after prenatal exposure to alcohol. Experimental Brain Research. 2016;234(11):3347-3353.
  9. Noor S, Milligan ED. Lifelong Impacts of Moderate Prenatal Alcohol Exposure on Neuroimmune Function. Frontiers in Immunology. 2018.
  10. Burd L, Blair J, Dropps K. Prenatal alcohol exposure, blood alcohol concentrations and alcohol elimination rates for the mother, fetus and newborn. Journal of Perinatology. 2012;32(9):652-659.
  11. Rodríguez JJ., Smith VC. Prenatal Opioid and Alcohol Exposure: Understanding Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders to Safeguard Maternal and Child Outcomes. Zero to Three. 2018;38(5):23-28.
  12. Rutman D. Becoming FASD Informed: Strengthening Practice and Programs Working with Women with FASD. Substance Abuse: Research & Treatment. 2016;10:13-20.
  13. Girault V, et al. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Impairs Autophagy in Neonatal Brain Cortical Microvessels. Cell Death & Disease. 2017; 8(e2610).
  14. Subramoney S, Eastman E, Adnams C, Stein DJ, Donald KA. The Early Developmental Outcomes of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: A Review. Frontiers in Neurology. 2018; 9(1108).
  15. Gross AC, Deling LA, Wozniak JR, Boys CJ. Objective measures of executive functioning are highly discrepant with parent-report in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Child Neuropsychology. 2015;21(4): 531-538.
  16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html
  17. American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP Says No Amount of Alcohol Should Be Considered Safe During Pregnancy. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Says-No-Amount-of-Alcohol-Should-be-Considered-Safe-During-Pregnancy.aspx
  18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notice to Readers: Surgeon General’s Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5409a6.htm

Last updated: March 2019

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