#010 MRIs and the FASD Brain with Dr. Catherine Lebel

fasd success show Mar 08, 2020
We have a fascinating episode today as we talk MRIs, the brain and FASD with Dr. Catherine Lebel, Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Calgary and Canada Research Chair in Pediatrics. Dr. Lebel has a PhD in Bio Medical Engineering and has Post Doctoral Training in Neurology and Pediatrics. But don't worry folks, we talk about all this in easy to understand language!

Our closed Facebook FASD Caregiver Success group gets a lot of posts and questions about MRIs, so we took them directly to a professional who breaks down the brain, what MRIs are and can do, how past research is informing current research, and how her team are making discoveries about how the brain of an individual with prenatal alcohol exposure differs from a neurotypical individual. 

In this episode Dr. Lebel shares: how she found her way into the FASD world; gives us a look into her work (and how the brain works); tells us about a Canadian Study on FASD & Mental Health; and I ask her specifically (and she answers):

  • Is it necessary, important or even helpful to get an MRI for an individual with FASD?
  • Can an FASD brain grow?
  • Can you re-write an FASD brain like you can with other brain injuries?
  • Is there a catch up period in development with individuals with FASD?
  • Is there any good research about supplements helping the FASD Brain?
  • Do therapies, like Neurofeedback, have any noticeable and long term effects?

My take aways that I think are important to note:

The brain of an individual with FASD looks very similar to a child without FASD.

MRIs are useful in research, not as a diagnostic tool.

People with FASD do learn and grow - it's differently, sometimes, slower, sometimes faster, but there is good evidence that shows interventions can promote plasticity.

We end our interview talking about a current study looking FASD and Mental Health.  CanFASD reports 94% of individuals with FASD develop anxiety and depression.

Dr. Lebel’s team is examining how individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol are predisposed or more vulnerable to developing anxiety and depression. Where in the brain is it happening, when, and can we develop effective interventions?

Anyone in Canada can participate if you can attend the in person portions which are in Calgary or Edmonton.

Show Notes:


Show Notes:

For more information: Contact Mercedes Bagshawe: 403-955-5548 OR [email protected]

Dr. Lebel's website: https://www.developmentalneuroimaginglab.ca

Additional Study info: https://www.developmentalneuroimaginglab.ca/study/brain-development-in-children-and-youth-with-fasd/

Additional write-ups of research: https://www.developmentalneuroimaginglab.ca/home/our-research/


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.