According to a recent MRI study, drinking alcohol during pregnancy, even in low to moderate doses, can affect the baby’s brain structure and hinder brain development. The results of the study will be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can expose the fetus to a group of conditions called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Babies born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders may develop learning disabilities, behavioral problems, or speech and language delays. For the study, researchers analyzed MRI exams of 24 fetuses with prenatal alcohol exposure. The fetuses were between 22 and 36 weeks pregnant at the time of the MRI. Exposure to alcohol was determined through anonymous surveys of the mothers. The questionnaires used were the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), a surveillance project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health departments, and the T-ACE Screening Tool, a four-question measure that identifies risk drinking.