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Video Text Alternative: Meet Our Researchers: Dr. James Mills on Birth Defects Research in Ireland

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Meet Our Researchers
Dr. Mills describes his work in Ireland


NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development logo
GRAPHIC SLIDE: James Mills, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Mills on camera.
Dr. James Mills: Ireland had a major interest in neural tube defects. The rate in Ireland is very high. In fact, my colleagues, in their more colorful moments, called it the Curse of the Celts. And they had a fabulous folate biochemistry group at Trinity College in Dublin.

So we set up a big contract with them where we provided funding for us to work together and to identify cases, to study the mothers and our group—I should add that the group there had done an amazing study that helped us get started, where they went to the maternity hospitals in Dublin and collected blood from 56,000 women and stored it. And when they say the outcomes of the pregnancy, they pulled the blood samples from the women who had babies with neural tube defects, and some normal control pregnancies, and they were able to compare things like the actual folate levels in these women's blood while they were having the affected pregnancies. So that was an enormous benefit for us. And then we were able to get genetic data by helping them to go out and bring in people and to get all the material we needed to look at the DNA and to identify these folate risk genes.
Last Updated Date: 09/03/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 09/03/2013
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