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JFAS Int 2006; 4: e6; Apr 11, 2006
Paul Lemoine, French pioneer in FAS research dies

Gideon Koren

Abstract

Dr. Paul Lemoine, 1998

We recently learned of the death of Dr. Paul Lemoine in March of this year, and mourn the passing of this pioneering French pediatrician who identified FAS in 1968. As Chief of the Pediatric Service at the CHU in Nantes, as well as attending pediatrician at the Civeliere Nursery, Dr. Lemoine saw many newborns with serious anomalies. Around 1960, he was struck by the existence of an unknown syndrome among these children and began to look for answers to explain their severe intrauterine growth retardation, behavioral problems, and specific facial dysmorphology. Then one day, as Dr. Lemoine wrote for JFAS, "in one of La Civeliere's wards, I was comparing two of these children, looking for an answer, and while talking to the staff as I always did, one of them responsible for the two children indicated to me that both of their mothers were heavily alcohol dependent. And the spark hit! I looked back at all my files and conducted in-depth inquiries: all the children marked by this syndrome had alcoholic mothers! I was rapidly convinced. It proved more difficult to convince my colleagues."

When we established JFAS Int in 2003, we wished to launch it with the original French description of the syndrome by Dr Paul Lemoine. We were delighted when Dr Lemoine agreed to the translation of his paper to English and to its publication in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (Lemoine P, Harousseau H, Borteyru JP, Menuet JC. Children of alcoholic parents - observed anomalies: discussion of 127 cases. Ther Drug Monit. 2003 Apr;25(2):131). Moreover, Dr Lemoine kindly offered JFAS a yet unpublished account of his memories and feelings around the events of the 1960's and 70's. The excerpt above is from this personal account, published in JFAS in English and French:

J FAS Int 2003;1:e2 - The History of Alcoholic Fetopathies
Paul Lemoine, MD, Nantes, France

J FAS Int 2003;1:e3 -Historique des embryo-foetopathies alcooliques (1997)
Paul Lemoine, MD, Nantes, France

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