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Neural tube defects are serious birth defects of the brain and spine. They are a major cause of death and lifelong disability worldwide. Up to 85 percent of neural tube defects can be prevented if women consume enough folic acid before and during early pregnancy. But worldwide only 15 percent of neural tube defects are prevented.
In this session of Public Health Grand Rounds experts discuss how fortifying grains with folic acid could prevent these defects. Hear about the challenges and opportunities for these efforts.
Beyond the Data
- Krista S. Crider, PhD
- Geneticist, Prevention Research and Translation Branch,
Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC
"Prevention of Neural Tube Defects"
- Scott J. Montgomery, BS
Food Fortification Initiative
"Fortifying Grains with Folic Acid to Prevent Neural Tube Defects: Successes and Opportunities"
- Erin Smith, MPH
- Country Director
Helen Keller International Tanzania
"Maize Fortification with Small- and Medium-scale Processors in Tanzania"
- Neena Raina, PhD
- Coordinator, Health through the Life Course,
South-East Asia Regional Office
World Health Organization
"Birth Defects Surveillance and Prevention in South-East Asia: Lessons Learnt and Way Forward"
- John Iskander, MD, MPH
- Scientific Director
- Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
- Deputy Scientific Director
- Susan Laird, MSN, RN
- Communications Director
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Birth defects are serious conditions that involve changes to the structure of one or more parts of the body. Learn about research that is underway to identify risk factors for birth defects, and to develop key intervention strategies that can be used to help ensure that every child is born in the best possible health.
Every year, approximately 300,000 children around the world are born with neural tube defects (NTD). Learn about efforts to decrease the prevalence of NTDs in the US and hear about much needed global strategies to reduce the burden of NTDs worldwide through mandatory fortification of staple foods with folic acid.
- Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
- Page last updated: February 28, 2018
- Content source:
- Office of the Associate Director for Science
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication