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Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

Written by
Dr. Tony Magana
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jan 24, 2015 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  4 min read


This article discusses in detail the causes and treatment of neural tube defects.

Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a condition resulting from the malformation of the brain, skull, spinal cord, and spine to varying degrees that occurs within the first month after conception (pregnancy).

Causes of Neural Tube Defects:

The embryonic tissues which will later specialize to become the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the skull, and the spine start out as a flat plate that rolls into a tube (neural tube). Defects in the neural tube may be due to:

These have been implicated as the cause of disruption of the normal formation process leading to an incomplete neural tube.

Sequelae of Neural Tube Defects:

Usually these defects are in the posterior midline.

Importance of Folic Acid Intake in Women:

Neural tube defects occur with an incidence of between 0.1 to 1 per thousand births in developed countries but are significantly higher in undeveloped countries. The intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid in the daily food intake of women of child bearing age regularly before they become pregnant significantly reduces but does not eliminate the possilibility of occurrence.

Treatment for Neural Tube Defects:

Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome:

In the past, surgery was often delayed for sometime for spina bifida and the associated hydrocephalus with the idea that these children would be sentenced to live poor quality lives. But this has been proven wrong. Today, most experts advocate surgery as early as possible to reduce the risk of infection and further injury. Attempts at surgery while the child is in the mother's womb are done in a few centers but the benefit of this procedure which puts both mother and child at risk over early intervention after birth are not yet clear.

Consult a neuro surgeon online to know more about the neural tube defects -->


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Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  4 min read




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