New evidence has emerged about the benefits of a particular combination of vitamins in the prevention of hydrocephalus.
According to scientists at the University of Manchester and Lancaster University, laboratory tests have shown that administering a combination of vitamins that includes tetrahydrofolate and folic acid significantly diminishes the risk of the condition.
Hydrocephalus is an abnormal build-up of fluid within the chambers of the brain which results from a change in the composition of the cerebrospinal fluid preventing normal growth of the brain cells.
Children born with the condition typically suffer from significant brain damage.
However, the new research has found that the vitamin combination had a significant positive effect on brain development in animal experiments and reduced the incidence of hydrocephalus.
What is more, the beneficial effect was seen at any stage of pregnancy.
As a result, Dr Jaleel Miyan, who led the research, has suggested the combination folate supplements could be given to a woman whose fetus has been scanned and shown to have hydrocephalus.
Health practitioners have long recommended that women who plan to become pregnant should add nutritional health supplements containing folic acid to their diet to promote the neurological health of their child.