Reversal of neurobehavioral teratogenicity in animal models and human: Three decades of progress

Joseph Yanai, Myles J. Vigoda, Asher Ornoy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Early studies of behavioral teratology were mostly descriptive, fulfilling the necessary first requirement in a new field. The next obvious stage was put forward in the 80’s as mechanism driven science enabled reversal of the teratogens-induced deficits. Three decades later a plethora of studies have been published demonstrating the success of the new direction. Complete and long-term (ostensibly permanent) reversal has been demonstrated in numerous animal models representing the realization of the ultimate goal of the field. Perhaps less sought after, but still significant, are the studies on recovery which needs consistent treatment for its persistence The studies reviewed here have been summarized in Tables 1 and 2. Clinically, the field is only in its incipient stage because of the paucity in translational findings for complete reversal or even complete alleviation. Human findings are emerging but in partial alleviation, noteworthy were the demonstration of FASD children who showed improvement after choline treatment while others showed no effect. Consequently, while further studies in an animal model on the mechanism by which the teratogen exerts its deleterious effects and the reversal procedure action are important, the main thrust of the research should now be translation of the animal model findings into a standard clinical routine. Indeed, first steps towards these goals are being made in children with various neurodevelopmental disorders via the application of a variety of rehabilitation programs by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, but the results are partial and may not be long-lasting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-342
Number of pages15
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alleviation
  • Animal models
  • Clinical application
  • Mechanisms
  • Neurobehavioral teratology
  • Reversal

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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