Moderate alcohol during pregnancy: Learning and behavior in adolescent rhesus monkeys

Citation
Ml. Schneider et al., Moderate alcohol during pregnancy: Learning and behavior in adolescent rhesus monkeys, ALC CLIN EX, 25(9), 2001, pp. 1383-1392
Citations number
66
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Clinical Psycology & Psychiatry","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH
ISSN journal
0145-6008 → ACNP
Volume
25
Issue
9
Year of publication
2001
Pages
1383 - 1392
Database
ISI
SICI code
0145-6008(200109)25:9<1383:MADPLA>2.0.ZU;2-R
Abstract
Background: Although high-dose prenatal alcohol exposure is related to cogn itive and behavioral impairments in children and adolescents with fetal alc ohol syndrome, there is relatively little research on the effects of modera te drinking during pregnancy. We examined learning, memory, and behavior in adolescent rhesus monkeys prenatally exposed to moderate levels of alcohol , psychological stress, or both alcohol and stress. Methods: Forty adolescent rhesus monkey subjects were derived from four gro ups of female rhesus monkeys that (1) consumed alcohol throughout gestation ; (2) experienced prenatal stress; (3) experienced prenatal stress and alco hol consumption; or (4) control group (no alcohol, no stress). The subjects were assessed for number of trials required to reach 90% criterion of corr ect responses on nonmatching-to-sample task (NMS), followed by trials with delays of 30, 60, or 120 sec. Ratings of behavior during testing were made after each session. Results: Subjects exposed to moderate prenatal alcohol required significant ly more trials to reach criterion on the acquisition phase of the NMS task but had no difficulty with delays. Prenatally stressed monkeys showed lower response inhibition or less behavioral restraint, whereas prenatal alcohol plus stress monkeys showed higher activity level and stereotypies compared with controls. High scores on neonatal measures of orientation (attending to novel stimuli) and motor maturity and low scores on irritability, activi ty, stereotypies, and impulsivity during acquisition were correlated with f ewer trials to criterion on acquisition of NMS. Conclusions: NMS trials required to reach criterion and behavior during tes ting are sensitive to moderate-level prenatal alcohol exposure in monkeys. The most adverse behavioral outcomes (hyperactivity and stereotypies) were associated with prenatal alcohol plus stress, raising concerns that environ mental stress might provide the context within which fetal alcohol exposure could promote adverse behavioral outcomes. These effects occurred in the a bsence of either facial deformities or retarded physical growth.