Articles on Birth defects

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These photos show mothers or family members holding infants born with microcephaly, one of many serious medical problems caused by congenital Zika syndrome. AP Photo/Felipe Dana

Prenatal blood screening may predict Zika virus-associated fetal defects

There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. But researchers have identified factors in the blood that signal a fetus has Zika-related birth defects, helping mothers decide whether to terminate a pregnancy.
An animal experiment in a laboratory of the pharmaceutical company “Chemie Gruenenthal,” which manufactured the drug Thalidomide, in West Germany in 1969. Thalidomide was prescribed by doctors as a mild sleeping pill and for relief of morning sickness but caused the miscarriage and birth of thousands of children with severe malformations globally. (AP Photo/File)

We need answers to the thalidomide tragedy – to ensure drug safety today

A new book, 'The Thalidomide Catastrophe,' raises new questions about the conduct of corporations involved. It is the duty of governments to find out the answers.
The film Wonder tells the story of a boy with severe facial defects. IMDb/Lionsgate, Mandeville Films, Participant Media, Walden Media

Children with facial difference have a lot to teach us about body image

People with facial difference often develop strategies for smoothing over social awkwardness, such as ways of introducing the issue into conversation early or using humour to deflect attention.
About 3% of babies are born with birth defects, when there is a problem with how they develop in the womb. from www.shutterstock.com

Why we don’t know what causes most birth defects

We still don't know what's behind four out of every five birth defects. But that can change.
Deciding whether or not to continue on medication in pregnancy is always a balancing act. from shutterstock.com

Should I stop taking Prozac if I’m pregnant?

A study has shown an association between antidepressants in pregnancy and risk to the baby. But there are many factors to consider if deciding whether to stay on an antidepressant if you're pregnant.
Talking with patients who’ve had Zika is tough. Pregnant woman and doctor image via www.shutterstock.com.

I’m an OB-GYN treating women with Zika: This is what it’s like

Physicians like me are learning about Zika along with our patients. This takes a dose of humility on our part and an understanding from our patients that we learn something new every single day.
A display used to educate the public on rubella vaccination and the mother-to-fetus transmission of this virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via Public Health Image Library

In Zika, echoes of US rubella outbreak of 1964-65

Though separated by time and place, there are surprising similarities in the the social issues raised by the rubella outbreak of 1964-65 and the recent Zika outbreak in South America.
Municipal workers wait before spraying insecticide to prevent the spread of Aedes aegypti mosquito at Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 26, 2016. Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Explainer: where did Zika virus come from and why is it a problem in Brazil?

Zika was discovered almost 70 years ago, but wasn't associated with outbreaks until 2007. So how did this formerly obscure virus wind up causing so much trouble in Brazil?
Thalidomide was used by the pregnant women – the population that turned out to be most vulnerable to its risks. Reuters pictures

Why did thalidomide’s makers ignore warnings about their drug?

Thalidomide's manufacturer, Chemie Grünenthal, marketed the drug as safe for pregnant women despite reports it was causing malformations in newborns. Why such blatant denial?

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