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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: an overview of current evidence and activities in the UK
  1. Lisa Schölin1,
  2. Raja A S Mukherjee2,
  3. Neil Aiton3,
  4. Carolyn Blackburn4,
  5. Sarah Brown5,
  6. Kate M Flemming6,7,
  7. Paul R Gard8,
  8. Helen Howlett9,
  9. Moira Plant10,
  10. Alan D Price11,
  11. Jennifer Shields5,
  12. Lesley A Smith12,
  13. Michael Suttie13,
  14. David C Zammitt5,
  15. Penny A Cook14
  16. The UK FASD Research Collaboration
  1. 1School of Health in Social Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Specialist Behaviour Clinic, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Surrey, UK
  3. 3One Stop Clinic, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, Brighton and Hove, UK
  4. 4Centre for the Study of Practice and Culture in Education, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
  5. 5Fetal Alcohol Advisory and Support Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Ayr, South Ayrshire, UK
  6. 6Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
  7. 7Liverpool Centre for Alcohol Research, Liverpool, UK
  8. 8School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science, University of Brighton, Brighton, East Sussex, UK
  9. 9Faculty of Health and Life Science, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
  10. 10Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, University of the West of England Bristol, Bristol, UK
  11. 11School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
  12. 12Institute of Clinical and Applied Health Research, University of Hull, Hull, Kingston upon Hull, UK
  13. 13Nuffield Department of Women's and Reproductive Health, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
  14. 14School of Health Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Raja A S Mukherjee, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Specialist Behaviour Clinic, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Surrey, UK; raja.mukherjee{at}


Estimates for the UK suggest that alcohol consumption during pregnancy and prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)—the most common neurodevelopmental condition—are high. Considering the significant health and social impacts of FASD, there is a public health imperative to prioritise prevention, interventions and support. In this article, we outline the current state of play regarding FASD knowledge and research in the UK, which is characterised by a lack of evidence, a lack of dedicated funding and services, and consequently little policy formulation and strategic direction. We highlight progress made to date, as well as current knowledge and service gaps to propose a way forward for UK research.

  • adolescent health
  • neonatology
  • syndrome

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it first published. The provenance and peer review statement has been included.

  • Contributors RM and PC convened the first meeting of the UK FASD Research Collaboration, where the authors of this paper met to establish research priorities and create an outline of this paper, led by LS. All authors contributed writing sections of the paper, which was edited and coordinated by LS. All authors reviewed the final manuscript before submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests RM is an unpaid voluntary Medical advisor to various UK and international FASD charities and has received occasional honoraria for academic talks related to FASD. JS, SB and DZ have funding from a Scottish Government grant to expand training, research and clinical knowledge of FASD. Remaining authors have no conflict of interest to report.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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