#026 Dr. Jeffrey Wozniak: A Conversation About Choline

fasd success show Jun 21, 2020


The timing of this podcast with Dr. Jeffrey Wozniak could not have been better. Little did I know a media story would appear two days before this podcast release, about the four year follow up study he and his team completed on choline for children with Fetal Alcohol. And boy did our Facebook Group explode with posts and parents wanting to purchase or order.

See that’s the thing with headlines, and announcements of new therapy and treatments – they are meant to grab your attention and emotion. My job is to save you some time, money, and further heartache by going directly to the source and getting the relevant information without the emotion. Choline does have benefits, but you need to know what those are and what target population it works best for.

So, who is Dr. Wozniak?

He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Kent State University in 1997, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at the University of Minnesota in 1999. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology. He also runs the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and trains graduate students and clinical psychology interns in the practice of clinical neuropsychology.

Dr. Wozniak's primary research interest is in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). He co-directs the University's FASD Program. Dr. Wozniak conducts advanced neuroimaging studies in FASD in conjunction with the University's Laboratory for Neuropsychiatric Imaging, where he directs the neurocognitive section. Dr. Wozniak's research group is part of the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD) and is involved in CIFASD's ongoing multi-site imaging, neurobehavioral, genetic, and facial dysmorphology projects.

I don’t know about you, but I much prefer to get my information directly from the source. Which is exactly what you will hear in this podcast:

  • What choline is, why it’s important, and where it's found naturally;
  • The ins and outs of a scientific study;
  • Results of the first 9-month choline study, the four year follow up and plans for future studies;
  • Advice to women who are pregnant and have had alcohol; 
  • Answers to questions from our FASD Caregiver Success Facebook Group and myth-busting.

This is foundational.  It is an effective intervention in early life but it is not a treatment we expect to see a dramatic result the week you start administering it.

As a bonus, Dr. Wozniak gives his thoughts and advice on FASD and MRIs, QEEGs, and Neuro or Biofeedback Therapy. This is an important podcast to listen to.  I am not trying to take away any hope. I get it. As caregivers, we want the best for our children and are willing to try anything. But we need to temper hope and expectations with good science and evidence-based research. Let me know what you think of this one!

Show Notes:

Dr. Jeffery Wozniak Research, Contact and Bio

Minnesota CBS Local Article: “U announces breakthrough study on treating fetal alcohol spectrum disorders”

Four-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of choline for neurodevelopment in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Choline supplementation in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) has high feasibility and tolerability



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