Spring 2011 • Issue 22

 

International Collaborations to Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

On January 31, NIAAA Acting Director Dr. Kenneth Warren, along with Dr. Peggy Murray, NIAAA’s Senior Advisor for International Research, participated in “Sharing Health: U.S.–Russia Collaboration in the Health Sector.” Sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., the meeting addressed the importance of chronic, or noncommunicable, diseases within the broader field of global health. Cochairing the event were former U.S. Senator William Frist and Nikolay Gerasimenko, First Vice-Chair of the Committee on Health Protection, Russian State Duma.

As part of a session on Collaboration to Promote Healthy Lifestyles, Dr. Warren presented findings on strategies to prevent alcohol problems in the United States. He also described an NIAAA-funded study focusing on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) that will be conducted jointly by investigators from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, St. Petersburg State University, and the Pedagological University of the Niznhiy Novogorod Region.

In another global initiative, on November 2010, Drs. Warren and Murray attended a World Health Organization (WHO) planning group meeting in the Netherlands. The goal was to develop a protocol for the first global study of the prevalence of FASD. Dr. Warren cochaired the meeting with Dr. Jürgen Rehm, a WHO consultant, and Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, Director of the WHO’s Program on Substance Abuse. Participating countries included Russia, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

At a separate Netherlands meeting, “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Growing Awareness in Europe,” Dr. Warren gave the plenary address, “The Future Emerging From FASD Research: Impact on Identification, Prevention, and Treatment.” He also chaired a session on prevention and public education. Dr. Murray presented a talk entitled “Reaching Health Professionals to Improve Identification, Treatment, and Prevention of FASD.”