Folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy can reduce up to 70 percent of spina bifida cases, according to a new study. Spina bifida, a condition in which the neural tube (an embryonic form of the brain and spinal cord) fails to fuse. Spina bifida is a condition that involves lifelong medical management. It is also one of the most common malformations of human structure.
Results show that folic acid supplementation around the time of conception and early pregnancy was found to prevent up to 70 percent of spina bifida cases. However researchers say, it's unclear exactly how folic acid prevents the condition, but they feel it's likely to involve genes that regulate folate transport and metabolism.
Researchers conclude saying that continuing advances in understanding of the human genome are providing new opportunities to understand the causes of this disorder and offer the prospect of developing new strategies for the prevention of spina bifida.