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Update: Newborn genetic screening

Posted on November 29, 2014

Recent studies have shown that a simple blood test may be able to help prevent certain birth defects. Spina bifida, for example, could be detected by measuring the folate content of the mother’s blood. Women need a higher folate concentration to prevent neural tube defects and it is recommended that expecting mothers consume around 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. The exact ideal folate concentration in a mother’s red blood cells is yet to be determined but research has made it clear that having a higher folate concentration in the pregnant women’s blood is beneficial in preventing neural tube defects.

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Sources: The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Philly.com, The BMJ Online.