Intelligence and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders A Review

Main Article Content

Vanessa K. de L. Ferreira
Marcelo S. Cruz


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Intellectual Functioning, Intelligence, Prenatal Alcohol Exposure


The studies on intelligence in individuals with fetal alcohol exposure are conflicting. Some have found a relevant impairment in this population, while others found results that were consistent with the population at large.
Describe the results of studies on intelligence in individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
Indexed articles of the last 10 years were selected for an integrative literature review. After inclusion and
exclusion criteria were satisfied 37 articles were selected.
General intelligence, both verbal and non-verbal, is impaired in people who are prenatally exposed to alcohol. There is a tendency to a greater reduction in the Freedom from Distractibility/Working Memory Index of Wechsler Scales.
Reduction in intelligence seems to occur on a continuum similar to the fetal alcohol spectrum. The reduction of the Freedom from Distractibility/Working Memory Index appears to be a reflection of a greater impairment of mathematical ability.
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