Alcohol is the main psychoactive drug consumed worlwide and its increasing use by young women has been a great problem point out by specialists in the subject. Althoug the adverse effects associated to the habit of drinking alcoholic beverages during gestation being very documented, it is known that a considerable number of pregnant women have difficulties to abandon the habit. The consumption of alcohol in the beginning of pregnancy can cause deficit in growth development and dysmorphology. Even moderate alcohol consumption (30 to 60g/day) can produce a range of effects known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), characterized by children with cognitive and behavioral disorders.However, because of denial, embarrasment and fear, maternal reports of gestational use of alcohol are often inaccurate or not available. Consequently, a series of biomarkers have been studied to diagnose fetal exposure to alcohol. Recently, fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) have been studied as biomarkers found in meconium of neonates exposed in utero. In the present project, analytical methods will be developed aiming the detection of these biomarkers in meconium samples. Initially, recent sample preparation methods such as solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and solvent accelerated extraction (ASE) will be evaluated. Analytes will be identified and quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS). After developing and validation of the methods, meconium samples deriving from neonates born of suspected drinking of smoking mothers will be submitted to the methods.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: