Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) exhibit behavioral dysregulation, executive dysfunction, and atypical function in associated brain regions. Previous research shows early intervention mitigates these outcomes but corresponding brain changes were not studied. Given the Alert®
Program for Self-Regulation improves behavioral regulation and executive function in children with FASD, we asked if this therapy also improves their neural functioning in associated regions. Twenty-one children with FASD aged 8–12 years were randomized to the Alert®
-treatment (TXT; n
= 10) or waitlist-control (WL; n
= 11) conditions. They were assessed with a Go-NoGo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm before and after training or the wait-out period. Groups initially performed equivalently and showed no fMRI differences. At post-test, TXT outperformed WL on NoGo trials while fMRI in uncorrected results with a small-volume correction showed less activation in prefrontal, temporal, and cingulate regions. Groups also demonstrated different patterns of change over time reflecting reduced signal at post-test in selective prefrontal and parietal regions in TXT and increased in WL. In light of previous evidence indicating TXT at post-test perform similar to non-exposed children on the Go-NoGo fMRI paradigm, our findings suggest Alert®
does improve functional integrity in the neural circuitry for behavioral regulation in children with FASD.
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