Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE): Review of Evidence and Guidelines for Assessment

Curr Dev Disord Rep. 2015 Sep;2(3):175-186. doi: 10.1007/s40474-015-0054-6. Epub 2015 Jun 27.


The effects of prenatal alcohol use have been well documented. In this review, we discuss the inclusion of Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE) as a condition for further study in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-5). We present a review of the evidence for impairment in three domains highlighted in ND-PAE: neurocognitive functioning, self2 regulation, and adaptive functioning. In addition, we provide guidelines for clinical assessment of each domain. When considering ND-PAE, it is essential to obtain as comprehensive an assessment as possible, including multidisciplinary/multimethod assessment of the individual by a qualified team. It is our aim to provide clinicians with a useful reference for assessing ND-PAE and highlight important guidelines to be followed when conducting neuropsychological assessment.

Keywords: Assessment; Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS); Neuropsychological testing; Prenatal alcohol exposure; diagnosis.