The central nervous system, one of the first organs to develop, is critical for neonatal function and survival. Neurulation can be divided into three stages: (1) the thickening of the presumptive neuroepithelium to form the neural plate; (2) neural fold elevation; (3) neural tube formation resulting from the apposition and fusion of the dorsal edges of the neural folds. Dynamic neural tube closure in the head (brain) differs from that in the trunk region (spinal cord). Failure of neural tube closure is among the most common malformations in humans. It is well-recognized that the risk of neural tube defects is modulated by maternal and fetal folate levels provided by diet or supplement.

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Neural Tube Development
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