Overt Physical Symptoms of FAS

The physical effects of exposure of the fetus to alcohol have been well-described. Along with evidence that the mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy, the physical effects associated with FAS include growth retardation, musculoskeletal abnormalities, small head circumference (Microcephaly) and a group of distinctive facial dysmorphologies (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Facial Dysmorphologies Associated with FAS





While very evident during childhood, many of these facial abnormalities tend to diminish with age, and adults with FAS may not exhibit the classic facial dysmorphologies characteristic of this disorder in children. Other physical effects that are not quite as obvious include, reduced vision and visual acuity due to retinal malformations, speech pathologies, and awkward motor control.