Back Volume 36, no. 3, March 2023. The Ukrainian wheat block and possible health impacts. Epigenetics of violence against women: the pilot study. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: an underestimated public health problem



The Ukrainian wheat block and possible health impacts
Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by the secondary metabolism of some moulds and can contaminate various foodstuffs including wheat. In particular, ochratoxin A can be also produced during storage. The blocking of exports from Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict and the long storage times have raised questions about the consequences for wheat supply and safety. The percentages of Ukraine and Russian wheat that our country imports are not relevant and the official control system in place in the EU verifies and manages the presence of such contaminants, which may represent a risk.

Epigenetics of violence against women: the pilot study
Violence against women is a major global public health problem and a violation of human rights. The consequences for women’s health are physical, sexual and psychological with very high economic and social costs. Among psychiatric disorders, post-traumatic stress is the most prevalent and there are no targeted and effective therapeutic protocols for treatment. The effects of violence are also present at the epigenetic level with consequent modification of gene expression. The EpiWE pilot study identified some epigenetic changes in the genome that occur as a result of the violence. Identifying molecular scars could reveal the correct approach (from the point of view of precision medicine) to investigate and arrange prevention interventions to counteract the onset of post traumatic stress disorder, stress-related disorders and other chronic diseases.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: an underestimated public health problem
It is estimated that over 40% of the world's population consumes alcohol. Among these, some abuse alcoholic beverages and its consumption is constantly growing, even during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause irreversible harm to the fetus. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which is the most serious manifestation of this complex phenomenon, concern a series of structural abnormalities, neurodevelopmental disorders involving behavioral and neuro-cognitive disabilities in newborns and children exposed to alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding. The National Center for Addiction and Doping coordinated the project "Prevention, early diagnosis and targeted treatment of the spectrum of Fetal Alcohol Disorders and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" carried out with the support of the Ministry of Health, National Center for Disease Prevention and Control Program 2018 with the aim of providing a contribution to research on this problem, disseminating scientifically valid information and bridging the training gap of operators.