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TOOL TO SCREEN CHILDREN FOR FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME; BOTH CHEAPER AND FASTER

The scientists at USC and other universities have developed a new tool to screen for fetal alcohol poisoning. This revolutionary tool uses a camera and computer vision to record patterns in children’s eye-movements. The reason this tool is being regarded as revolutionary is that it is quick to use and affordable, making it available worldwide. As we know, many countries do not have the luxury of the expensive medical tools we have here in the United States. Giving access to a device such as this can allow other countries the opportunity to diagnose and treat their patients to the best of their abilities.

By using the recorded eye movements of children who do not suffer from fetal alcohol poisoning, and comparing those to the eye movements of children who are suspected to suffer from the disorder. Whenever the eye movements of a child were out of the norm, the researchers would flag that case as possible for fetal alcohol poisoning. The technique is called “Detection of Children/Youth With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Through Eye Movement, Psychometric, and Neuroimaging Data.”

This disorder is said to be hard to diagnose, and a professional diagnosis could take up to an entire day. Without there being an official blood test to diagnose FASD, the evaluation and testing for this disorder is complicated and often results in related diagnosis as well. Reports suggest millions of children will suffer from fetal alcohol poisoning and without early intervention, the child is at risk for developing future disorders and cognitive disabilities.

Today, too many children are being born into this world with FASD and if that was not bad enough, not enough of these children are being appropriately treated as the disorder can go undetected without specific testing abilities. This cheap and quick turn-around test can be the future in discovering when fetal alcohol poisoning is apparent, and further, treat the child so that they may grow up to be highly functioning members of society.