Public Release: 

Fetal folic acid exposure through population-wide fortification of grains and brain development

JAMA Network

Bottom Line: Two decades ago, the U.S. government mandated grain products be enriched with folic acid to increase fetal exposure to reduce birth defects. This study examines whether increased fetal exposure to folic acid because of the mandated fortification of grains is associated changes in postnatal brain development, as measured by cortical thickness on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and psychiatric risk in youth. MRIs from three groups of young people ages 8 to 18 were evaluated.

Authors: Joshua L. Roffman, M.D., M.M.Sc., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and coauthors

Related Material: The editorial, "Investigating the Role of Micronutrients in Brain Development and Psychiatric Disorders via Magnetic Resonance Imaging," by Tomas Paus, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, Canada, also is available on the For The Media website.

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/ jamapsychiatry.2018.1381)

Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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