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Birth defects are the leading cause of infant death in the US and the number one cause of childhood disability. Most birth defects can't be prevented but neural tube defects can be prevented by taking folic acid supplements prior to falling pregnant and during the early stages of pregnancy. This can prove difficult as not all pregnancies are planned. Nevertheless, it can be effective even if taken once the pregnancy is discovered. Broader new born screenings are being increasingly implemented in various states. Early diagnosis and treatment of birth defects prevents serious developments such as mental retardation, strokes, blindness or death.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Standard Democrat
About: Folic acid prevents neural tube defects
Date: 6 January 2005
Source: Standard Democrat
Author: Michelle Felter
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