Mortality and Maldevelopment

Part II: The Saga of Neural Tube Defects

  • Harold Kalter

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Harold Kalter
    Pages 1-3
  3. Harold Kalter
    Pages 5-15
  4. Harold Kalter
    Pages 17-18
  5. Harold Kalter
    Pages 19-49
  6. Harold Kalter
    Pages 51-77
  7. Harold Kalter
    Pages 79-117
  8. Harold Kalter
    Pages 119-128
  9. Harold Kalter
    Pages 129-144
  10. Harold Kalter
    Pages 145-153
  11. Harold Kalter
    Pages 155-165
  12. Harold Kalter
    Pages 167-169
  13. Harold Kalter
    Pages 171-172
  14. Harold Kalter
    Pages 173-178
  15. Harold Kalter
    Pages 179-183
  16. Harold Kalter
    Pages 185-189
  17. Harold Kalter
    Pages 191-206
  18. Harold Kalter
    Pages 207-215
  19. Harold Kalter
    Pages 217-222
  20. Harold Kalter
    Pages 223-224
  21. Harold Kalter
    Pages 225-225
  22. Back Matter
    Pages 227-265

About this book


Congenital malformations are worldwide occurrences striking in every condition of society. These severe physical abnormalities which are present at birth and affecting every part of the body happen more often than usually realized, once in every 33 births. The most common, after heart defects, are those of the neural tube (the brain and spinal cord) which happen in as many as one in every 350 births. They have been noted as curiousities in man and beast throughout recorded history and received great attention in our time by various fields of study, for example, their faulty prenatal development by embryologists, familial patterns by geneticists, causation by environmentalists and variability by population scientists.

Attention turned much in recent years to the relation of these malformations to deficiency of a particular dietary ingredient, folic acid, a subject this book analyzes in depth. The greatest conundrum of all, which this latest matter like so much else hinges on, is the amazing fact of the tremendous, almost universal decrease in the frequency of these anomalies since early in the 20th century. The puzzle is ‘What can this downward trend possibly mean?’ and at bottom ‘Whether it is part of a long-term cyclical pattern’. This fascinating biological phenomenon is explored in the book together with various other topics.


Embryo birth diagnosis etiology population sex

Authors and affiliations

  • Harold Kalter
    • 1
  1. 1.Children’s Hospital Medical Center College of MedicineUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

Bibliographic information