Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery Director Jeffery Blount, M.D., co-authored the introduction to the October 2019 edition of Neurosurgical Focus, which was published earlier this month by the Journal of Neurosurgery. In the introduction to this month’s issue on spina bifida, Blount and his fellow co-authors – Sandip Chatterjee, M.D., Erin N. Kiehna, M.D., Eylem Ocal, M.D., Catherine McClung Smith, M.D. – discuss the broad spectrum of clinical care for spinal dysraphism.

Dr. Jeffrey BlountDr. Jeffrey Blount

Throughout the introduction, titled “Advancing the care of children with spina bifida, prenatally and postnatally,” Blount, Chatterjee, Kiehna, Ocal and Smith examine the decreasing incidence of infants with open myelomeningocele and the management of postnatal sequelae. They suggest that this incidence is partially due to the implementation of folate fortification of commercially prepared foods, the increasingly widespread use of screening ultrasounds and the subsequent terminations of affected pregnancies. According to the authors, the prominent reduction in open MMC cases “represents one of the great public health accomplishments of the 20th century.”

Blount, Chatterjee, Kiehna, Ocal and Smith conclude in the introduction to the issue that they hope it prompts new discussions of open MMC, as well as of potential strategies to continue to improve the quality of life for all patients with spina bifida.

Read the issue and the introduction here.