Navigation Links
UT-Houston's Northrup and colleagues uncover genetic link to spina bifida
Date:12/18/2007

HOUSTON (Dec. 18, 2007)Researchers at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston have discovered an association between genes regulating glucose metabolism and spina bifida. The decade-long study looked at more than 1,500 DNA samples from parents and their children with that birth defect.

UT Medical School researchers tested variants in a dozen genes that take part in glucose metabolism to look for a link between genetic variation in affected children and spina bifida. Each affected childs parents were also studied, as well as DNA from unaffected control samples. The samples were gathered from study participants in Houston, Los Angeles and Toronto.

Published in the Jan. 2008 issue of the journal Reproductive Sciences, the study titled Genes in Glucose Metabolism and Association with Spina Bifida, found an association between variants in three glucose metabolism genes and spina bifida. Glucose metabolism is the way the body uses its major fuel, which is sugar.

We are trying to find out what causes this neural tube defect. It has been recognized through epidemiological studies for a number of years that there was a connection between high glucose levels, either due to maternal diabetes or obesity and having a child with spina bifida, said co-author Hope Northrup, M.D., professor and director of medical genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the UT Medical School. Our goal is to identify variations in specific genes of glucose metabolism that are important in the process, thus enabling us to more specifically determine the underlying problem.

Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States, according to the Spina Bifida Association. It happens when the spine of the baby fails to close during the first months of pregnancy. It occurs in seven out of 10,000 births in the United States. According to the Spina Bifida Association of Texas, a Hispanic woman is twice as likely to have a child with this crippling birth defect. In Texas, nearly two out of every 1,000 babies born have spina bifida.

Northrup said this study supports why women need to maintain a healthy weight throughout their childbearing years, and beyond.

This is important from a practical standpoint because neural tube defects are more common in pregnancies complicated by maternal diabetes and maternal obesity, and our study suggests a mechanism for this association, said Manju Monga, M.D., professor and director of maternal and fetal medicine in the medical schools Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. In the United States, Mexican-American women have the highest rates of neural tube defects and they are also at increased risk for obesity and adult-onset diabetes, so this study may be especially relevant to pregnant women in Texas.

Another way women can reduce their risk of having a baby with spina bifida: take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. The number of cases could be reduced by as much as 70 percent.


'/>"/>

Contact: Melissa McDonald
Melissa.E.McDonald@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. St. Jude influenza survey uncovers key differences between bird flu and human flu
2. 454 Sequencing uncovers a genetic basis for different social behaviors in wasp
3. Joslin researchers uncover potential role of leptin in diabetes
4. Agent that triggers immune response in plants is uncovered
5. UD plant biologists uncover top wetland plants hidden weapon
6. Massive microRNA scan uncovers leads to treating muscle degeneration
7. Scientists uncover how hormones achieve their effects
8. New study uncovers secrets behind butterfly wing patterns
9. Hemoglobin uncovered
10. UVa Health System team uncovers genes role in type 1 diabetes
11. Study uncovers clues to cystic fibrosis gene dysfunction and gastrointestinal disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UT-Houston's Northrup and colleagues uncover genetic link to spina bifida
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The Department ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous ... however Decatur was selected for the ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... -- Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With Implementation ... to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By End ... - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected to ... growing security concerns across various end use sectors such ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target ... over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young Investigator (YI) ... of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of 128 applicants ... the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: