Advances in the development of novel antioxidant therapies as an approach for fetal alcohol syndrome prevention

Xavier Joya, Oscar Garcia-Algar, Judith Salat-Batlle, Cristina Pujades, Oriol Vall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Ethanol is the most common human teratogen, and its consumption during pregnancy can produce a wide range of abnormalities in infants known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The major characteristics of FASD can be divided into: (i) growth retardation, (ii) craniofacial abnormalities, and (iii) central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction. FASD is the most common cause of nongenetic mental retardation in Western countries. Although the underlying molecular mechanisms of ethanol neurotoxicity are not completely determined, the induction of oxidative stress is believed to be one central process linked to the development of the disease. Currently, there is no known effective strategy for prevention (other than alcohol avoidance) or treatment. In the present review we will provide the state of art in the evidence for the use of antioxidants as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment using whole-embryo and culture cells models of FASD. We conclude that the imbalance of the intracellular redox state contributes to the pathogenesis observed in FASD models, and we suggest that antioxidant therapy can be considered a new efficient strategy to mitigate the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-177
JournalBirth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Neuroprotective
  • Oxidative stress
  • Teratogenesis
  • Treatment


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