In the largest genetic study of the most common birth defects of the brain diagnosed during pregnancy, researchers from Seattle Children’s Research Institute say their findings evolve our understanding of brain development. The findings will also change the information given to expecting parents when cerebellar malformations are detected prenatally. “If you have a child at risk for developmental challenges, it helps to know the cause and what’s going to happen. This study significantly advances our ability to answer those questions,” said Dr. William Dobyns, the senior author on the paper published in the American Journal of Human Genetics and an investigator in the Center for Integrative Brain Research. Dobyns and lead author, Dr. Kimberly Aldinger, identified 27 different genes as key contributors.

Read more in “Genetic study evolves understanding of common birth defects of the brain,” in On the Pulse.