A congenital disorder, or congenital disease, is a condition existing at birth and often before birth, or that develops during the first month of life (neonatal disease), regardless of causation. Of these diseases, those characterized by structural deformities are termed "congenital anomalies" and involve defects in or damage to a developing fetus.Scientists are researching the causes and cures of birth defects, and here are links to some of their reports.
A congenital disorder may be the result of genetic abnormalities, the intrauterine (uterus) environment, errors of morphogenesis, infection, or a chromosomal abnormality. The outcome of the disorder will depend on complex interactions between the pre-natal deficit and the post-natal environment. Animal studies indicate that the mother's (and possibly the father's) diet, vitamin intake, and glucose levels prior to ovulation and conception have long-term effects on fetal growth and adolescent and adult disease. Congenital disorders vary widely in causation and abnormalities. Any substance that causes birth defects is known as a teratogen.
The older term congenital disorder does not necessarily refer to a genetic disorder despite the similarity of the words. Some disorders can be detected before birth through prenatal diagnosis (screening).
An important predictor of the severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants may be what their mothers ate during pregnancy, according to a Vanderbilt study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Maternal vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy can have serious consequences for the fetal brain. And once brain damage has occurred, it cannot be reversed by vitamin C supplements after birth. This is shown through new research at the University of Copenhagen just published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) may significantly increase the risk of birth defects, particularly those of the eye, heart, reproductive organs and urinary systems, according to new research presented on Oct. 20, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.