Will folic acid ward off autism?

Interesting news about folic acid and autism. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed women who took folic acid around the time they conceived had babies who were less likely to develop autism.

I remember when I was pregnant with my girls I took folic acid because at that time my doctor told me it would help prevent “neural tube defects” like spina bifida. Like most new mothers-to-be I wanted to do everything possible to have a healthy baby so I did what I was told and my daughters were and continue to be fine.

I asked one of my physician friends at Norton Healthcare what she thought about this study. Karen Reed, M.D., with Norton OB/GYN Associates, says “The message gained here is the need for women of reproductive age to eat a healthy diet of foods rich in folic acids regardless of the desire to conceive.”

Autism is one of those mysterious diseases that researchers are still trying to figure out… why would a seemingly healthy baby develop autisum? We’re still looking for answers, but wouldn’t it be great if we could prevent it altogether?

For more on the story go to: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/Autism/37326

And here is more on neural tube defects:

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are one of the most common birth defects, occurring in approximately one in 1,000 live births in the United States. A NTD is an opening in the spinal cord or brain that occurs very early in human development. In the 3rd week of pregnancy called gastrulation, specialized cells on the dorsal side of the fetus begin to fuse and form the neural tube. When the neural tube does not close completely, an NTD develops.

-Jackie Hays


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