Intelligence and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Review

Background: The studies on intelligence in individuals with fetal alcohol exposure are confl icting. Some have found a relevant impairment in this population, while others found results that were consistent with the population at large.

Objectives: Describe the results of studies on intelligence in individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Methods: Indexed articles of the last 10 years were selected for an integrative literature review. After inclusion and exclusion criteria were satisfi ed 37 articles were selected.

Results: General intelligence, both verbal and non-verbal, is impaired in people who are prenatally exposed to alcohol. There is a tendency to a greater reduction in the Freedom from Distractibility/Working Memory Index of Wechsler Scales.

Conclusions: Reduction in intelligence seems to occur on a continuum similar to the fetal alcohol spectrum. The reduction of the Freedom from Distractibility/Working Memory Index appears to be a refl ection of a greater impairment of mathematical ability.

Author(s): Vanessa K. de L. Ferreira, Marcelo S. Cruz