Spina Bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord and the tissues enclosing them. Symptoms are:
Spina bifida occulta: mildest form with symptoms of abnormal tuft of hair, small collection of fat and small dimple or birthmark
Meningocele: protective membranes around the spinal cord push out through the opening
Myelomeningocele: most severe form characterized by muscle weakness, bowel and bladder problems, seizures and orthopedic problems
HOW IS SPINA BIFIDA DIAGNOSED?
When in the womb, in order to diagnose this condition the following tests are done:
1. Blood tests
2. Ultrasound scanning
Depending on these test reports a neurosurgeon diagnoses Spina Bifida
HOW IS SPINA BIFIDA TREATED?
The treatment of Spina Bifida depends upon the severity of the condition and besides medication, Spina Bifida requires surgery.
DID YOU KNOW?
Women who already have a child with spina bifida, who have spina bifida themselves, or who have already had a pregnancy affected by any neural tube defect are at greater risk of having another child with spina bifida or another neural tube defect, 5-10 times the risk to the general population. These women may benefit from taking a higher daily dose of folic acid before they consider becoming pregnant.