Neurologic and ophthalmic manifestations of fetal alcohol syndrome

Beau B. Bruce, Amanda L. Dean, Nancy J. Newman, Valérie Biousse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a leading cause of preventable birth defects and developmental disability with numerous neurologic and ophthalmic manifestations. FAS is identified by the presence of a characteristic facies, growth deficiency, and central nervous system abnormalities. A wide variety of ocular and neuro-ophthalmic conditions occur in FAS and result in lifelong visual impairment. Neurologists are frequently called upon to evaluate and recommend treatment for children with developmental delay or neurologic manifestations of FAS. We review the neuro-ophthalmic literature on FAS to alert neurologists to the ocular disease seen in patients with this condition. Timely ophthalmic referral and early intervention for treatable ophthalmic conditions, such as refractive errors, strabismus, and amblyopia, can prevent irreparable harm to the developing visual system and improve the overall neurologic development, long-term functioning, and quality of life for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalReviews in Neurological Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Comitant strabismus
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Microcephaly
  • Optic nerve hypoplasia
  • Ptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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