Children in the alcohol group exhibited statistically significant increases in diffusion on DWI compared with the other children."The increase of diffusion indicates neurological disorders or damage to the brain tissue," Dr. Urbanik said. To noninvasively study metabolism in the brains of the children, the researchers used proton (hydrogen) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HMRS), a common adjunct to structural MRI studies. HMRS results showed a complex collection of metabolic changes. "In individual cases, we found a high degree of metabolic changes that were specific for particular locations within the brain," Dr. Urbanik said. Coauthors are Teresa Jadczak-Szumilo, M.Sc., Monica Nardzewska-Szczepanik, M.D., Paulina Karcz, M.Sc., and Justyna Kozub, M.Sc. Note: Copies of RSNA 2012 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press12 beginning Monday, Nov. 26. RSNA is an association of more than 50,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists, promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. ( RSNA.org) Editor's note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the published abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please call the RSNA Newsroom at 1-312-949-3233. For patient-friendly information on MRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org. AT A GLANCE
- Alcohol use by expectant mothers can lead to problems with the mental and physical development of their children.
- Advancements in MRI are affording unprecedented insights into the effects of alcohol on the central nervous systems of children whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy.
- Costs for care of individuals affected by fetal alcohol syndrome in the U.S. have been estimated at $4 billion annually.