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Neural tube defect

Fernando A Poletta, Monica Rittler, Cesar Saleme, Hebe Campaña, Juan A Gili, Mariela S Pawluk, Lucas G Gimenez, Viviana R Cosentino, Eduardo E Castilla, Jorge S López-Camelo
BACKGROUND: Historically, neural tube defects (NTDs) have predominated in female infants but the reasons remain unclear. In South America, the pre- folic acid fortification (FAF) rates of NTDs were around 18/10,000 births for females and 12/10,000 births for males, with an estimated sex ratio (male/female) of 0.67. During the post- FAF period, unpublished routine reports have indicated changes in the sex ratio for these defects while some descriptive reports are controversial. To date and to our knowledge, however, no studies specifically focusing on these changes to test this hypothesis directly have been undertaken...
2018: PloS One
Vijaya Kancherla, Sarah Zimmerman
OBJECTIVES: Mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid has been proven to be a highly effective way to prevent spina bifida and anencephaly. Yet, over 100 countries worldwide do not implement this intervention. Our objectives were to identify countries with an immediate potential for mandatory fortification of wheat flour with folic acid and to estimate the number of preventable cases of spina bifida and anencephaly that would be averted each year through the intervention. METHODS: We examined folic acid fortification characteristics in countries as of September 2017...
March 13, 2018: Birth Defects Research
Lorenzo D Botto, Pierpaolo Mastroiacovo
Preventing neural tube defects (NTDs) easily qualifies as a high-value opportunity to improve childhood survival and health: the unmet need is significant (major preventable burden), the intervention is transformative (providing sufficient folic acid), and delivery strategies (e.g., fortification) are effective in low-resource countries. Yet, NTD prevention is lagging. Can public health surveillance help fix this problem? Critics contend that surveillance is largely unnecessary, that limited resources are best spent on interventions, and that surveillance is unrealistic in developing countries...
February 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Homero Martinez, Aliki P Weakland, Lynn B Bailey, Lorenzo D Botto, Luz Maria De-Regil, Kenneth H Brown
As infectious disease control programs achieve increasing success, further reductions in child mortality in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will require focused prevention strategies for birth defects and other noninfectious diseases. Neural tube defects (NTDs) can cause early death or lifelong disability. Preventing NTDs provides a feasible, significant opportunity to decrease the toll of birth defects and contribute to further reducing child mortality globally. The Micronutrient Forum convened a technical consultation on Folate Status in Women and Neural Tube Defects Prevention to develop a roadmap to inform and prioritize investments in NTD prevention in LMICs; help guide implementation efforts in terms of the feasibility of interventions and the potential for acceleration; and identify research and knowledge gaps...
February 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Vijaya Kancherla, Robert E Black
Neural tube defects (NTD) are major congenital malformations affecting births worldwide. NTD are associated with life-long disability, significant medical care costs, and child mortality. Their prevalence varies worldwide. We conducted a review of published literature and surveillance systems to examine challenges in estimating an overall global prevalence estimate for NTD. Our review showed that most low- and middle-income countries do not track NTD and indicate a high prevalence of these malformations where data are available...
February 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Jessica Baker, Cheryl Shuman, David Chitayat, Syed Wasim, Nan Okun, Johannes Keunen, Renee Hofstedter, Rachel Silver
The introduction of chromosomal microarray (CMA) into the prenatal setting has involved considerable deliberation due to the wide range of possible outcomes (e.g., copy number variants of uncertain clinical significance). Such issues are typically discussed in pre-test counseling for pregnant women to support informed decision-making regarding prenatal testing options. This research study aimed to assess the level of informed decision-making with respect to prenatal CMA and the factor(s) influencing decision-making to accept CMA for the selected prenatal testing procedure (i...
March 7, 2018: Journal of Genetic Counseling
Florence A Giger, Corinne Houart
As the embryonic ectoderm is induced to form the neural plate, cells inside this epithelium acquire restricted identities that will dictate their behavior and progressive differentiation. The first behavior adopted by most neural plate cells is called neurulation, a morphogenetic movement shaping the neuroepithelium into a tube. One cell population is not adopting this movement: the eye field. Giving eye identity to a defined population inside the neural plate is therefore a key neural fate decision. While all other neural population undergo neurulation similarly, converging toward the midline, the eye field moves outwards, away from the rest of the forming neural tube, to form vesicles...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Steven W Bailey, June E Ayling
Despite efforts to increase folic acid (FA) intake, even within countries mandating FA fortification, there remain pregnant women with folate levels inadequate to minimize congenital disorders (e.g., of the neural tube, heart, and lip/palate). The pharmacokinetics of FA and [6S]-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) were examined to find a reliable and minimal dose for rapidly rescuing folate status prior to critical periods of embryonic development. Serum total folate increased much more rapidly over the first four days in insufficient women given 7...
March 6, 2018: Scientific Reports
Lexy M Kindt, Alicia R Coughlin, Tianna R Perosino, Haley Ersfeld, Marshall Hampton, Jennifer O Liang
Anencephaly is a fatal human neural tube defect (NTD) in which the anterior neural tube remains open. Zebrafish embryos with reduced Nodal signaling display an open anterior neural tube phenotype that is analogous to anencephaly. Previous work from our laboratory suggests that Nodal signaling acts through induction of the head mesendoderm and mesoderm. Head mesendoderm/mesoderm then, through an unknown mechanism, promotes formation of the polarized epithelium which is capable of undergoing the movements required for closure...
February 27, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Jill Demirci, Erin Caplan, Beverly Brozanski, Debra Bogen
OBJECTIVE: To describe the experience of breastfeeding (inclusive of breast milk expression/pumping, provision of breast milk via devices, and at-breastfeeding) among mothers of newborns with complex congenital surgical anomalies and the contexts under which pro-breastfeeding behaviors and attitudes are facilitated or compromised. STUDY DESIGN: We used qualitative description to analyze 23 interviews conducted with 15 mothers of newborns undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal, cardiac, or neural tube defects...
February 27, 2018: Journal of Perinatology: Official Journal of the California Perinatal Association
Antoni Borrell
Prenatal diagnosis of birth defects initially targeted Down syndrome and neural tube defects. Screening for fetal structural anomalies has expanded to screen any relevant malformation by means of a universal ultrasound scan. Although it is now apparent that clinically relevant genetic anomalies have a similar 3% birth prevalence, prenatal diagnosis programs still focus on Down syndrome. A new comprehensive paradigm is suggested, that provides information on all three groups of genetic disorders, chromosomal, submicroscopic and single-gene, causing intellectual and neurodevelopmental disability...
February 26, 2018: Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology
Joshua D Bryant, Shannon R Sweeney, Enrique Sentandreu, Minhye Shin, Helene Ipas, Blerta Xhemalce, Jessica Momb, Stefano Tiziani, Dean R Appling
One-carbon (1C) metabolism is a universal folate-dependent pathway essential for de novo purine and thymidylate synthesis, amino acid interconversion, universal methyl-donor production, and regeneration of redox cofactors. Homozygous deletion of the 1C pathway gene Mthfd1l encoding methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (NADP+ dependent) 1-like, which catalyzes mitochondrial formate production from 10-formyltetrahydrofolate, results in 100% penetrant embryonic neural tube defects (NTDs), underscoring the central role of mitochondrially derived formate in embryonic development and providing a mechanistic link between folate and NTDs...
February 26, 2018: Journal of Biological Chemistry
A David Smith, Martin J Warren, Helga Refsum
The biosynthesis of B12 , involving up to 30 different enzyme-mediated steps, only occurs in bacteria. Thus, most eukaryotes require an external source of B12 , and yet the vitamin appears to have only two functions in eukaryotes: as a cofactor for the enzymes methionine synthase and methylmalonylCoA mutase. These two functions are crucial for normal health in humans, and in particular, the formation of methionine is essential for providing methyl groups for over 100 methylation processes. Interference with the methionine synthase reaction not only depletes the body of methyl groups but also leads to the accumulation of homocysteine, a risk factor for many diseases...
2018: Advances in Food and Nutrition Research
Nassim Naderi, James D House
The term folate (vitamin B9) refers to a group of water-soluble compounds that are nutritionally essential for the support of optimal human health and development. Folates participate in numerous one-carbon transfer reactions, including the methylation of important biomolecules (lipids, amino acids, DNA). A deficiency of folate leads to pathological outcomes including anemia and impairments in reproductive health and fetal development. Due to the linkage of impaired folate status with an increased prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in babies, several jurisdictions required the fortification of the food supply with folic acid, a synthetic and stable form of folate...
2018: Advances in Food and Nutrition Research
Şule Özel, Sebnem Ozyer, Osman Aykut, Mehmet Çinar, Omer Hınc Yılmaz, Ali Caglar, Yaprak Engin-Ustun
PURPOSE: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the most common malformations of the central nervous system (CNS). There is continuing research for the identification of risk factors and interventions for prevention of NTDs. The aim of this study was to investigate the maternal second trimester blood levels of selected heavy metals namely, arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) and their possible relation with the occurrence of NTDs. METHODS: Twenty-one healthy second trimester pregnant women with fetuses affected with NTD (cases) were matched with 21 healthy pregnant women with unaffected fetuses (controls) with respect to age, body mass index (BMI), and gestational age...
February 22, 2018: Journal of Maternal-fetal & Neonatal Medicine
Aimina Ayoub, William D Fraser, Nancy Low, Laura Arbour, Jessica Healy-Profitós, Nathalie Auger
We sought to determine the relationship between maternal mental illness and the risk of having an infant with a central nervous system defect. We analyzed a cohort of 654,882 women aged less than 20 years between 1989 and 2013 who later delivered a live born infant in any hospital in Quebec, Canada. The primary exposure was mental illness during pregnancy or hospitalization for mental illness before pregnancy. The outcomes were neural and non-neural tube defects of the central nervous system in any offspring...
February 22, 2018: Archives of Women's Mental Health
Isabel R Orriss, Stuart Lanham, Dawn Savery, Nicholas D E Greene, Philip Stanier, Richard Oreffo, Andrew J Copp, Gabriel L Galea
Fractures are a common comorbidity in children with the neural tube defect (NTD) spina bifida. Mutations in the Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway contribute to NTDs in humans and mice, but whether this pathway independently determines bone mass is poorly understood. Here, we first confirmed that core Wnt/PCP components are expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts in vitro. In vivo, we performed detailed µCT comparisons of bone structure in tibiae from young male mice heterozygous for NTD-associated mutations versus WT littermates...
February 20, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ji-Woon Kim, Hyun Ah Oh, Sung Hoon Lee, Ki Chan Kim, Pyung Hwa Eun, Mee Jung Ko, Edson Luck T Gonzales, Hana Seung, Seonmin Kim, Geon Ho Bahn, Chan Young Shin
T-type calcium channels are low voltage-activated calcium channels that evoke small and transient calcium currents. Recently, T-type calcium channels have been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and neural tube defects. However, their function during embryonic development is largely unknown. Here, we investigated the function and expression of T-type calcium channels in embryonic neural progenitor cells (NPCs). First, we compared the expression of T-type calcium channel subtypes (CaV3...
February 21, 2018: Biomolecules & Therapeutics
N Kotova, V Maichuk, O Fedorenko
Neural tube defects occupy second place in frequency after the defects of the cardiovascular system. The folate metabolism violation and hyperhomocysteinemia in women are proved to be the leading risk factors for the NTD of the fetus. Polymorphism of the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) is a genetic determinant of folate metabolism violation. Admission of folic acid in a standard dose of 0.4 mg and / or the use of fortified foods does not allow reaching the protective level of folic acid if there is a mutation of the MTHFR gene or when several risk factors combine, which requires a higher dose of folic acid...
January 2018: Georgian Medical News
Greg S Garrett, Lynn B Bailey
In this paper we review the evidence basis for prevention of folic acid-sensitive neural tube defects (NTDs) through public health interventions in women of reproductive age (WRA), the proven vehicles for delivery of folic acid, and what is needed to effectively scale these, and provide a snapshot of potential innovations that require future research. Our primary focus is on the global situation affecting large-scale food fortification (LSFF) with folic acid, in particular the fortification of wheat flour and maize meal...
February 16, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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