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Prenatal Multivitamins to prevent risk of Brain Tumors In Kids

A recent study revealed that the risk of development of certain types of brain tumor in children could be reduced by the intake of multivitamins in the early stages of pregnancy.//

It is already known that multivitamins containing folic acid should be taken in the early stages of pregnancy to reduce the risk of development of a neural tube defect like spina bifida in the fetus.

"This current study suggests another possible protective effect for the vitamins," said study leader Greta R. Bunin, Ph.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She added, "Children whose mothers took multivitamins close to the time of conception seemed less likely to suffer medulloblastoma and primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the brain."

Medulloblastoma is the second most common brain tumor in kids. However, childhood brain tumors are rare. Medulloblastoma occurs in one in 20,000 children under age 6, it develops in the cerebellum, the lower portion of the brain, and the area of the brain that coordinates movement. A different part of the central nervous system is affected by Primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the brain (PNET), which are similar to medulloblastoma.

Dr.Bunin and her team conducted a comparative study on 315 children diagnosed with those tumors before age six and equal number of their normal counterparts. The Children's Oncology Group, a multicenter collaborative organization of pediatric cancer programs in the U.S. and Canada had enrolled the kids with cancer chosen for this study. These kids were diagnosed between 1991 and 1997. A telephone survey was conducted in which the mothers were interrogated.

"Children whose mothers took multivitamins close to the time of conception seemed less likely to suffer medulloblastoma and primitive neuroectodermal tumours of the brain," said Dr. Bunin.
The study was published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. The results
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