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Neural tube defect and folic acid

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 During the post- FAF period, unpublished routine reports have indicated changes in the sex ratio for these defects while some descriptive reports are controversial.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
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
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
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
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
Nicholas J Wald, Joan K Morris, Colin Blakemore
The neural tube defects anencephaly and spina bifida are two of the most common serious congenital malformations. Most cases can be prevented by consuming sufficient folic acid immediately before pregnancy and in early pregnancy. Fortification of flour with folic acid to prevent these defects has been implemented in 81 countries without public objection or indication of harm. An obstacle to the wider adoption of fortification arises from the creation of a "tolerable upper intake level" for folate (which includes natural food folate as well as synthetic folic acid), and which has been set at 1 mg/day, thereby proscribing higher folate intakes...
2018: Public Health Reviews
Vardine Sahakyan, Robin Duelen, Wai Long Tam, Scott J Roberts, Hanne Grosemans, Pieter Berckmans, Gabriele Ceccarelli, Gloria Pelizzo, Vania Broccoli, Jan Deprest, Frank P Luyten, Catherine M Verfaillie, Maurilio Sampaolesi
Neural tube defects (NTDs) are severe congenital abnormalities, caused by failed closure of neural tube during early embryonic development. Periconceptional folic acid (FA) supplementation greatly reduces the risk of NTDs. However, the molecular mechanisms behind NTDs and the preventive role of FA remain unclear. Here, we use human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from fetuses with spina bifida aperta (SBA) to study the pathophysiology of NTDs and explore the effects of FA exposure. We report that FA exposure in SBA model is necessary for the proper formation and maturation of neural tube structures and robust differentiation of mesodermal derivatives...
February 13, 2018: Scientific Reports
Morgane Valentin, Perrine Coste Mazeau, Michel Zerah, Pierre François Ceccaldi, Alexandra Benachi, Dominique Luton
Neural tube defects (NTD) occur in 0.5 to 2 per 1000 pregnancies with various handicaps for the affected child. It is now well established that folic acid deficiency (absolute or relative) is a predisposing factor to this type of malformation. Several randomized controlled trials showed that high-dose folic acid (4mg) is an essential factor for prevention of neural tube defects recurrence and significantly prevents the first occurrence of neural tube defects with a lower dose (0.4mg). Other etiologies can favor the occurrence of NTD such as MTHFR polymorphism, some antiepileptic therapies, obesity and pregestational mellitus diabetes...
February 9, 2018: Annales D'endocrinologie
John Gaitanis, Tomo Tarui
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article provides an overview of the most common nervous system malformations and serves as a reference for the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment. RECENT FINDINGS: Major advances have occurred in recognizing the genetic basis of nervous system malformations. Environmental causes of nervous system malformations, such as perinatal infections including Zika virus, are also reviewed. Treatment for nervous system malformations begins prior to birth with prevention...
February 2018: Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology
Merav Ben Natan, Alina Brandin Rimkus, Anna Tseytlin Eryomine
AIM: Folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy decreases rates of neural tube defects. However, many women fail to adhere to folic acid supplementation recommendations. This study explored factors associated with women's intention to take folic acid before and during pregnancy, using the Theory of Planned Behaviour, with an emphasis on differences between Israeli-born women and immigrant women from the Former Soviet Union. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 100 Israeli born-women and 100 women from the Former Soviet Union of childbearing age completed a questionnaire, based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour...
February 7, 2018: International Journal of Nursing Practice
Min Ji Kim, Jihyun Kim, Eun Joung Hwang, YoonJu Song, Heon Kim, Taisun Hyun
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Folic acid supplementation before pregnancy is known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. The purposes of this study were to investigate the awareness, knowledge, and use of folic acid supplements along with their associated factors among non-pregnant Korean women of childbearing age. SUBJECTS/METHODS: From August 2012 to March 2013, 704 women aged 19-45 years completed a self-administered questionnaire regarding their awareness, knowledge, and use of folic acid as well as questions to identify risk of inadequate folate intake...
February 2018: Nutrition Research and Practice
Yulian Fang, Ruiping Zhang, Xiufang Zhi, Linsheng Zhao, Lirong Cao, Yizheng Wang, Chunquan Cai
PURPOSE: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are one of the most prevalent and the most severe congenital malformations worldwide. Studies have confirmed that folic acid supplementation could effectively reduce NTDs risk, but the genetic mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we explored association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) within folate metabolic pathway genes with NTDs in Han population of Northern China. METHODS: We performed a case-control study to compare genotype and allele distributions of SNPs in 152 patients with NTDs and 169 controls...
February 1, 2018: Child's Nervous System: ChNS: Official Journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery
Jufen Liu, Lei Jin, Zhiwen Li, Yali Zhang, Le Zhang, Linlin Wang, Aiguo Ren
Congenital hydrocephalus (CH) was a major birth defect of the central nervous system besides neural tube defects (NTDs). Few studies have focused on both the prevalence and trend of isolated and complicated CH in China. Data were drawn from a population-based birth defects surveillance program in five rural counties in northern China from 2005 to 2015. All livebirths and pregnancy terminations at any gestational age affected with CH were recorded. The prevalence and trend of isolated and complicated CH were examined...
February 1, 2018: Metabolic Brain Disease
Olga A Balashova, Olesya Visina, Laura N Borodinsky
The vitamin folic acid has been recognized as a crucial environmental factor for nervous system development. From the early fetal stages of the formation of the presumptive spinal cord and brain to the maturation and maintenance of the nervous system during infancy and childhood, folate levels and its supplementation have been considered influential in the clinical outcome of infants and children affected by neurological diseases. Despite the vast epidemiological information recorded on folate function and neural tube defects, neural development and neurodegenerative diseases, the mechanisms of folate action in the developing neural tissue have remained elusive...
January 30, 2018: Developmental Neurobiology
Anne M Molloy
There is a strong biological premise for including vitamin B12 with folic acid in strategies to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs), due to the closely interlinked metabolism of these two vitamins. For example, reduction of B12 deficiency among women of reproductive age could enhance the capacity of folic acid to prevent NTDs by optimizing the cellular uptake and utilization of natural folate cofactors. Vitamin B12 might also have an independent role in NTD prevention, such that adding it in fortification programs might be more effective than fortifying with folic acid alone...
January 29, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Tania A Desrosiers, Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Bridget S Mosley, Robert E Meyer
BACKGROUND: Folic acid fortification significantly reduced the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in the United States. The popularity of "low carb" diets raises concern that women who intentionally avoid carbohydrates, thereby consuming fewer fortified foods, may not have adequate dietary intake of folic acid. METHODS: To assess the association between carbohydrate intake and NTDs, we analyzed data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study from 1,740 mothers of infants, stillbirths, and terminations with anencephaly or spina bifida (cases), and 9,545 mothers of live born infants without a birth defect (controls) conceived between 1998 and 2011...
January 25, 2018: Birth Defects Research
Xiao-Zhen Liu, Qin Zhang, Qian Jiang, Bao-Ling Bai, Xiao-Juan Du, Fang Wang, Li-Hua Wu, Xiao-Lin Lu, Yi-Hua Bao, Hui-Li Li, Ting Zhang
AIM: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are birth defects of the nervous system and are the second most frequent cause of birth defects worldwide. The etiology of NTDs is complicated and involves both genetic and environmental factors. CASP9 is an initiator caspase in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, which in Casp9-/- mice has been shown to result in NTDs because of decreased apoptosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential genetic contribution of the CASP9 gene in human NTDs. METHODS: High-throughput sequencing was performed to screen genetic variants of CASP9 genes in 355 NTD cases and 225 matched controls...
January 24, 2018: CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics
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