The March of Dimes has several research grantees who are seeking to improve their understanding of how Folic Acid prevents NTDS. Because most NTDs are believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors (including nutritional factors like Folic Acid), other grantees are trying to identify genes that increase a woman’s risk of having a baby with an NTD. One of these researchers is focusing on 5 genes that play a key role in how the body breaks down food folates, to see if mutations in any of these genes increase the risk of spina bifida. Another researcher is looking at how Folic Acid is transferred from the placenta to the fetus and trying to identify any factors that could interfere with this process. These studies could lead to ways to identify women who are at increased risk of having a baby with an NTD, and to improved ways to treat them, with the goal of preventing even more NTDs than is currently possible. The information and resources listed here are intended for educational use only. The information provided on this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. Always contact your physician and/or other qualified healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or with questions about your health.