Bauer, W., Dylag, K.A., Lysiak, A. et al. Initial study on quantitative electroencephalographic analysis of bioelectrical activity of the brain of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) without epilepsy. Sci Rep 13, 109 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-26590-4
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are spectrum of neurodevelopmental conditions associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. The FASD manifests mostly with facial dysmorphism, prenatal and postnatal growth retardation, and selected birth defects (including central nervous system defects). Unrecognized and untreated FASD leads to severe disability in adulthood. The diagnosis of FASD is based on clinical criteria and neither biomarkers nor imaging tests can be used in order to confirm the diagnosis.
The quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) is a type of EEG analysis, which involves the use of mathematical algorithms, and which has brought new possibilities of EEG signal evaluation, among the other things—the analysis of a specific frequency band. The main objective of this study was to identify characteristic patterns in QEEG among individuals affected with FASD. This study was of a pilot prospective study character with experimental group consisting of patients with newly diagnosed FASD and of the control group consisting of children with gastroenterological issues. The EEG recordings of both groups were obtained, than analyzed using a commercial QEEG module.
As a results we were able to establish the dominance of the alpha rhythm over the beta rhythm in FASD-participants compared to those from the control group, mostly in frontal and temporal regions. Second important finding is an increased theta/beta ratio among patients with FASD. These findings are consistent with the current knowledge on the pathological processes resulting from the prenatal alcohol exposure.
The obtained results and conclusions were promising, however, further research is necessary (and planned) in order to validate the use of QEEG tools in FASD diagnostics.
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