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Oregon researchers discover a mechanism leading to cleft palate
Date:2/11/2008

y and Institute of Neuroscience. "This is a novel mechanism never before described."

A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth in which the two sides of the palate did not fuse, or join together, during a baby's early development. Cleft palate can negatively affect speech production, feeding, maxillofacial growth and dentition.

The first known attempt to correct the defect occurred in 500 A.D. The defect occurs with or without cleft lip (a separation of the two sides of the lip), on average, in 1 in 600 newborns, according to the Cleft Palate Foundation, but can vary by race. The highest incidence (3.6 per 1,000 births) occurs in American Indians. Palate formation begins after five weeks of gestation in humans and defects can become visible at 17 weeks, according to WebMD’s eMedicine.

The findings provide a new window into the mechanisms involved in cleft palate and craniofacial defects, but researchers caution that the findings don't point toward new clinical applications.

"Further exploration of how microRNAs and other factors modulate signaling pathways such as the Pdgf pathway during palatogenesis will assuredly continue to provide insights into the cause of, and possible treatments for, human craniofacial disease," the authors conclude.


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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

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