Recent Projects

 CIFASD-III at Atlanta:

A Multisite Neurobehavioral Assessment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)

Project Description:

Atlanta’s  Multisite Neurobehavioral Assessment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders project is part of large network of sites throughout the country working to identify core diagnostic features of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders that differentiate this disorder from typically developing children as well as children with other disorders.
The goal is to develop clinically relevant and feasible measurement tools to accurately identify children who are affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. This study builds on an existing database derived from data collected from children between 8-16 years of age, across multiple clinical sites throughout the world. Two age groups (5-7 years and 10-16 years) will be recruited. Data will be collected from children with prenatal alcohol exposure, non-exposed controls and heterogeneous clinical contrast subjects. This research will improve our understanding of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) by continuing ongoing efforts to develop and refine a sensitive and specific neurobehavioral profile. These data will be combined with data from other CIFASD projects to develop models that accurately capture the greatest number of affected children using multidisciplinary methodology.  Some participants also may be asked to participate in two additional components of the CIFASD project: Neuroimaging and Genetics.
Neuroimaging  Substudy: Atlanta’s  Multisite Neurobehavioral Assessment of FASDs
The neuroimaging component is looking at brain connectivity in FASDs and long-term development of the brain. Participants are asked to have two neuroimaging scans over a two year period to assess changes in brain development. The goal of this project is to determine if innovative techniques can be used to identify brain alterations, neurobehavioral deficits and facial characteristics and relationships between these variables to help further define/diagnose prenatal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
Genetic Substudy: Atlanta’s  Multisite Neurobehavioral Assessment of FASDs
The genetic component of the CIFASD project is designed to extend preliminary genetic studies through collection of DNA samples from saliva. The goal is to further evaluate candidate genes identified in the basic science components of the CIFASD project.

Quick Facts about the CIFASD-III Study in Atlanta

  • Children either 5-7 or 10-16 years of age are eligible.
  • The child will participate in a comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment, including assessments of their:
    • Intellectual development
    • Executive functioning skills
    • Memory functioning
    • Learning skills
    • Behavioral functioning
  • Children will receive a physical assessment by a pediatrician.
  • Children will have a 3-D photograph take on their face.
  • Parents and Caregivers are an important part of the CIFASD-III assessment and will complete questionnaires and interviews regarding their child’s functioning.
  • Participants may also be asked to also contribute saliva for genetic assessments.
  • Participants may also be asked to undergo two neuroimaging scans over the course of two years.
  • We are still enrolling volunteer families to participate in the program.
  • Participants are compensated for their time.

The project is funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol-Abuse (NIAAA). It is located in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

Project Staff
Principle Investigator:  Julie A. Kable, Ph.D.
Principle Investigator (Neuroimaging Subcomponent): Claire D. Coles
Outreach Coordinator: Sharron Paige (404) 712 9818
Testing: Shital Gaitonde, Ph.D., Chelsea Oswald

How you can be part of the CIFASD-III Study?  If you are interested in volunteering to be part of CIFASD-III, you can call Sharron Paige at 404 712 9818.

For more information on the CIFASD project activities throughout the world, see