Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
What is spina bifida?
0 Comments

What is spina bifida?

  • 0

Spina bifida is a birth defect that involves incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord and possibly the protective coverings on both.

It affects 1,500 to 2,000 of the estimated 4 million babies born in the United States each year.

The cause is unknown, but it is noticed first by the failure of the spine on a month-old fetus to close properly. If an infant is born with the disorder, the opening is closed immediately, but the nerve damage is permanent in the portion of the body below that site. Up to 90 percent of those born with spina bifida also have hydrocephalus, or what is called “water on the brain.”

There is no cure for spina bifida because nerve tissue cannot be replaced or repaired. Ongoing surgery, medication, physiotherapy and treatments last the lifetime of the patient.

The prognosis for patients is worst if a child has complete paralysis, hydrocephalus or other congenital defects. But with proper care, most children with the condition now live into adulthood.

— Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke

0 Comments
0
0
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Doctors with expertise in dealing with the condition known as spina bifida told Jerry Bretag he would die as a teenager. By the time he reached his 30s, he was told by some of the most prominent medical minds involved with the study of spina bifida that he would not live much longer.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News