Felicha T. Candelaria-Cook, Megan E. Schendel, Lucinda Flynn, Cassandra Cerros, Piyadasa Kodituwakku, Ludmila N. Bakhireva, Dina E. Hill and Julia M. Stephen, Decreased resting-state alpha peak frequency in children and adolescents with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or prenatal alcohol exposure, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, (2022)
Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can result in long-lasting changes to physical, behavioral, and cognitive functioning in children. PAE might result in decreased white matter integrity, corticothalamic tract integrity, and alpha cortical oscillations. Previous investigations of alpha oscillations in PAE/fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) have focused on average spectral power at specific ages; therefore, little is known about alpha peak frequency (APF) or its developmental trajectory making this research novel. Using resting-state MEG data, APF was determined from parietal/occipital regions in participants with PAE/FASD or typically developing controls (TDC). In total, MEG data from 157 infants, children, and adolescents ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years were used, including 17 individuals with PAE, 61 individuals with an FASD and 84 TDC. In line with our hypothesis, we found that individuals with PAE/FASD had significantly reduced APF relative to TDC. Both age and group were significantly related to APF with differences between TDC and PAE/FASD persisting throughout development. We did not find evidence that sex or socioeconomic status had additional impact on APF. Reduced APF in individuals with an FASD/PAE may represent a long-term deficit and demonstrates the detrimental impact prenatal alcohol exposure can have on neurophysiological processes.