Maternal Conditions

Birth defects can also result from physical conditions affecting the health of the mother. One common maternal condition associated with birth defects is diabetes mellitus, a multifactorial disorder. Mothers with diabetes have a two- to three-fold times greater risk of having a child with birth defects than the general population if their condition is not well controlled. However, good glucose control has been shown to correlate with a decreased risk of congenital malformations. Characteristic diabetic malformations include cardiovascular, craniofacial, genitourinary, gastrointestinal, and neurological abnormalities. The risk that the child born of a mother with diabetes mellitis will also develop diabetes as an adult is 1 to 3 percent.

Another maternal condition giving rise to birth defects is maternal phenylketonuria (PKU). This is an autosomal recessive disorder in which enzyme a protein that an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase is defective. This enzyme normally converts a substance in the blood called phenylalanine to another substance called tyrosine. As a result, phenylalanine levels are high, resulting in mental retardation, microencephaly, growth retardation, cardiac problems, seizures, vomiting, and hyperactivity. Other traits associated with PKU are fair hair and skin and blue eyes. PKU can be effectively managed through changes in the diet, and women who have appropriately managed their diet can have pregnancies with healthy offspring. see also Chromosomal Aberrations; Clinical Geneticist; Complex Traits; Diabetes; Down Syndrome; Fragile X Syndrome; Genetic Counseling; Growth Disorders; Severe Combined Immune Deficiency; Triplet Repeat Disease.

controls a reaction in a cell

Nancy S. Green and Terri Creeden

Bibliography

Batshaw, Mark L. When Your Child Has a Disability: The Complete Sourcebook of Daily and Medical Care. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing, 2001.

"Leading Categories of Birth Defects." March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, 2000. Internet Resource

National Organization of Rare Disorders. <http://www.rarediseases.org>.

Blood Type serum fluid portion of Blood has two main components: serum and cells. In 1900 Karl Landsteiner, the Wood (plural sera) a physician at the University of Vienna, Austria, noted that the sera of some agglutinate clump individuals caused the red cells of others to agglutinate. This observation together led to the discovery of the ABO blood group system, for which Landsteiner received the Nobel Prize. Based on the reactions between the red blood cells and the sera, he was able to divide individuals into three groups: A, B, and O. Two years later, two of his students discovered the fourth and rarest type, namely AB.

glycoprotein protein to which sugars are attached

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