Is Folic Acid a Better Supplement to Prevent Neural Tube Defects Caused by Mutation in mthfr Gene During Early Preganancy
Kumar Kamal Anand1 and Sujata Mishra1
1Molecular and Structural Biology Division
Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow – 226001, India
ABSTRACTS Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common congenital problem of central nervous system. Even though the epidemiologic link between maternal folate deficiency and fetal NTDs and preventive role of folate supplementation on oc currence and recurrence of these defects is establis hed, the causal mechanism at cellular and molecular level remains undefined. However, an elevated level of homocysteine is an independent risk factor for NTDs due to mutations in MTHFR gene which inhibits the production of this enzyme. Supplementation of folic acid 0.4µg per day may reduce the risk of this fetal disease. Hence public awareness program by the government should be built up in India as the occurrence of this fetal disease in North India as high as 4-9 per 1000 births.