The role of nutritional factors in the aetiology of neural tube defects

  title={The role of nutritional factors in the aetiology of neural tube defects},
  author={Carol Bower and Fiona J. Stanley},
  journal={Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health},
  • C. Bower, F. Stanley
  • Published 1 February 1992
  • Medicine
  • Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Maternal diet has long been suspected as a risk factor for neural tube defects. Following the Second World War, at a time of severe food deprivation, there was an increase in malformations of the central nervous system (mainly anencephaly and spina bifida) in several European countries.’ An excess of spina bifida and hydrocephalus also occurred in the cohort of Dutch boys exposed in ufero in early gestation to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1 944-45.2 Several dietary factors have been associated… 

Folic acid and neural tube defects in New Zealand: a cautionary tale?

  • J. Dixon
  • Medicine
    The New Zealand medical journal
  • 2007
It was not until 1980–1981 that the first intervention studies were published demonstrating that vitamin supplementation, around the time of conception, in women who had a previous child affected by a NTD, led to a reduction in the risk of recurrence of NTD in subsequent pregnancies.

Use of genetic markers and gene-diet interactions for interrogating population-level causal influences of diet on health

Examples from other areas of nutritional epidemiology and of the informative nature of gene–environment interactions interpreted within the Mendelian randomization framework are presented, and the potential limitations of the approach addressed.

Expression patterns of folate binding proteins one and two in the developing mouse embryo.

The expression of these two genes in the neural tube closure stage of embryological development supports their involvement in regulatory events related to normal neural tube morphogenesis, and fit the anticipated expression patterns of the homologues of human folate receptors alpha and beta.


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  • 1992
A large number of the patients with severe cerebral palsy following gastrostomy had at least one sibling who had a similar condition at birth and the prognosis was very different between the two.

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  • W. NembhardC. Bower
  • Medicine
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  • 2016
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The study of skin and skin colour evolution in humans thus relies on evidence from comparative study of the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the skin of living people and primates, along with the comparativeStudy of the genes that determine these characteristics.

The evolution of human skin colouration and its relevance to health in the modern world.

  • N. Jablonski
  • Biology
    The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • 2012
The range of pigmentation observed in modern humans today is the product of two opposing clines, one favoring photoprotection near the equator, the other favoring vitamin D photosynthesis nearer the poles.

Diet, Disease, and Developmental Defects: Examining the Role of Environmental Stress in the Etiology of Skeletal Anomalies.

It is hypothesized that the more environmental stress experienced by a population, the higher its overall skeletal defect frequencies, and findings indicate that environmental stress has minimal influence in the etiology of most developmental anomalies.



The absence of a relation between the periconceptional use of vitamins and neural-tube defects. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neural Tube Defects Study Group.

It is concluded that the periconceptional use of multivitamins or folate-containing supplements by American women does not decrease the risk of having an infant with a neural-tube defect.

Vitamins and neural tube defects

  • John Davis
  • Medicine
    The Medical journal of Australia
  • 1985
Far more information is required on the epidemiology of osteoporosis, as modified by the factors listed, before differences in bone mass between individuals or between populations can be confidently ascribed to differences in diet.

The apparently declining prevalence of neural tube defect in two counties in South Wales over three decades illustrating the need for continuing action and vigilance.

  • K. Laurence
  • Medicine
    Zeitschrift fur Kinderchirurgie : organ der Deutschen, der Schweizerischen und der Osterreichischen Gesellschaft fur Kinderchirurgie = Surgery in infancy and childhood
  • 1985
The need for continuing NTD pregnancy screening and prenatal diagnosis followed by selective abortion is stressed and it is suggested that genetic counselling health education to improve maternal nutrition preconceptional counselling and population folic acid supplementation should be extended to prevent these defects.

The range of neural tube defects in southern India.

During a prospective study of 3500 consecutive births from November 1985 to January 1987 at three hospitals, 40 babies were found to have neural tube defects, an extremely high incidence (11.4/1000

Neural‐tube defects and vitamins: the need for a randomized clinical trial

It is regretted that the defence is based principally on a biassed selection of data from the authors' studies and a hypothetical prediction based on questionable premises.

Periconceptional vitamin supplementation and neural tube defects; evidence from a case-control study in Western Australia and a review of recent publications.

These data do not provide evidence of an association between periconceptional vitamin supplementation and neural tube defects, although a protective effect of folate supplementation cannot be excluded with confidence, due to the low power of the study.

Multivitamin/folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy reduces the prevalence of neural tube defects.

We examined the relation of multivitamin intake in general, and folic acid in particular, to the risk of neural tube defects in a cohort of 23,491 women undergoing maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein

Congenital malformations and environmental influences in pregnancy.

  • I. Richards
  • Medicine
    British journal of preventive & social medicine
  • 1969
A retrospective analysis of 833 consecutive cases of malformations and an equal number of matched controls found significant differences between cases and controls when first trimester salicylate intake was compared suggesting that either Salicylates or the conditions for which they are given have a teratogenic effect.

Anencephalus and dietary intakes.

  • E. Knox
  • Medicine
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
  • 1974
A search for correlations of infective, toxic, and diet deficiency causes in neural tube defects is conducted, finding correlations of these types about six to eight months before delivery.