Spina Bifida And Its Effects On The Central Nervous System Essay

1697 Words Sep 24th, 2016 7 Pages
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect in which parts of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and meninges) do not properly form during embryonic development. It can affect both motor and sensory functions, due to injured spinal nerves. There are four types of spina bifida, ranging from benign to severe. The first type is occulta. It is the most common type and is due to a malformation of one or more vertebrae. It is not a severe type of spina bifida and usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. The second type of spina bifida is the closed neural tube defect. It causes a large range of defects, being either a malformation of bone, fat or meninges. The third type is called meningocele, in which a hole in the vertebrae allows the spinal fluid and meninges to protrude outside of the vertebral column. The last type (the most severe of all four types), is called myelomeningocele. It is similar to meningocele, but in this case, the neural elements of the spine are also protruding out of the malformed vertebrae.
The exact cause of spina bifida is unknown, but scientists suspect a few risk factors. Women having the family history of spina bifida, folate deficiency, diabetes, pre-pregnancy obesity, increased body temperature (hyperthermia), or having taken anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy, are at higher risk of having a child with spina bifida. (2) Spina bifida is more commonly seen in white and Hispanic populations. Additionally, it affects more females than males (2).…

Related Documents