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Doctor insights on: Is Spina Bifida Preventable

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Dr. Edward Smith
222 doctors shared insights

Spina Bifida (Definition)

A birth defect involving incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but a risk factor appears to be low levels of folic acid in a woman's body before ...Read more


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What is spina bifida?

What is spina bifida?

Spinal cord disorder: The spinal cord forms as an open tube that starts to close from the middle out to the two ends. The entire closure is done by about ten weeks. If the closure is not normal than a condition known as spina bifida occurs. Open spina bifida is when there is an opening in the spinal column to the skin. Closed spina bifida is when there is an opening in the spinal column but it has a thin cover. ...Read more

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What is spina bifida?

What is spina bifida?

Spina Bifida: Spina bifida is a birth defect where the spine does not close around the spinal cord during development. This may be as small as a small gap between the 2 sides, with no buldging out of membranes or nerves, & no associated handicaps, to a large defect with part of the cord exposed outside the body, leading to paralysis and other neurological problems. Folic acid decreases the risk. ...Read more

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What are the signs of spina bifida?

Spina Bifida: Depends on the type; 1. Spina bifida occulta shows small gap in 1 or more of spinal bones, seen in newborn as a small dimple or birth mark or tuft of hair or fat collection. 2. Meningocele shows as bulging of meninges (sheath around spinal cord) through the opening in back. 3. Myelomeningocele is wider protrusion through several vertebrae, forming a large sac. This is most severe. ...Read more

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Are men with spina bifida less fertile?

Are men with spina bifida less fertile?

Maybe: It depends on the level of the spina bifida. Low lesions (sacral) can lead to loss of ejaculation. If the man is in a wheel chair, sperm quality can also be affected. Many treatment options are available with a male fertility specialist. ...Read more

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What causes meningocele / spina bifida?

What causes meningocele / spina bifida?

Genetics usually: Altho there is high correlation with genetics causing meningocele / spina bifida, drugs (especially chemotherapeutics) and low blood folate (folic acid) during gestation or abdominal / pelvic irradiation during pregnancy are known causes. ...Read more

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What is the reason someone gets spina bifida?

Spina Bifida: Combination of Genetic & Environmental risk factors, such as Family history of Neural tube defects & Folic acid deficiency, White or Hispanic race, Female sex, some anti-seizure medications taken during pregnancy such as Depakote, Obese Diabetic women who get pregnant & their Diabetes not controlled, & women who develop Fever during pregnancy. ...Read more

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Is meningocele and spina bifida the same thing?

Is meningocele and spina bifida the same thing?

Related terms: Spina bifida is a fancy way to say that a spine segment or segments did not close along their backside. Meningocoel is a term for the spinal cord & elements that would balloon out the back if the spine did not close and contain them. People often use the term to describe a similar process. The most common location is at the base of the spine, but both could happen in the neck also. ...Read more

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Why are there more cases of spina bifida in the uk?

Why are there more cases of spina bifida in the uk?

Genetics plus: The most important reason is genetic predisposition. However it is quite likely that unknown environmental causes are important. Known environmental causes of spina bifida are widespread and probably would be effective in many countries, not just the uk. ...Read more

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Can spina bifida cause your urine to have a foul odor?

Uti: Patients with spins vigils may have urinary tract abnormalities, including incomplete emptying of the bladder and vesico urethral reflux, which can lead to urinary tract infections. You should consult your doctor for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible. ...Read more

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What is the range of ability for people with spina bifida?

Missing information: Need to know the level of the Neural Tube Defect, other brain anomalies along with hydrocephalus, underlying genetic or other medical conditions, level of cognition, motor, bowel & bladder function, non-verbal learning disabilities with autistic-like signs & symptoms & so forth. See http://www.spinabifidaassociation.org/site/c.evKRI7OXIoJ8H/b.8028963/k.BE67/Home.htm ...Read more

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What is the difference between spina bifida and anencephaly?

What is the difference between spina bifida and anencephaly?

The position: The developing brain and spinal cord go through a predictable pattern.The primitive neural tissue folds on itself to begin forming the spinal elements. It actually closes the fold starting in the middle and progresses toward the top and bottom. Like closing a zipper from the middle out. If the fold doesn't close at the tom, anencephaly develops. If it doesn't close at the bottom. Spina bifida. ...Read more

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I have occult spina bifida of s1? What problems over lifetime?

I have occult spina bifida of s1? What problems over lifetime?

Probably not much: Spina bifida oculta is often an x-ray finding that causes no major symptoms . However spina bifida can cause symptoms such as weakness of the legs and bladder problems and occasionally a characteristic loss of the sensation in the so called 'saddle' area. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: spina bifida repair?

Closure of defect: There are many degrees of spina bifida, but "repair" usually refers to closure of a myelomeningocele. In these infants, the spinal cord fails to close into a tube completely and remains open and attached to the skin on the back. It must be repaired within several days of birth by untethering the cord from the skin and constructing several layers to close. The defect. ...Read more

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What is the average life expectancy of a male with spina bifida?

What is the average life expectancy of a male with spina bifida?

Depends: It depends on whether we are talking about spinabifida occulta, meningocele or myelomeningocele. If we are talking about myelomeningocele it depends on how high the lesion is and whether or not there is an arnold-chiari malformation in the brain. ...Read more

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What would the life expectancy for a person with spina bifida be?

Depends: A lot depends on the presence of comorbidities. Some patients with spina bifida are wheel chair bound or have issues with bladder function. If these lower tract symptoms are present there is a higher risk of septic complications. With good care and good compliance there should be no limit. ...Read more

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Mild spina bifida getting worse. Could it be a circulation problem?

Please be specific: Spina bifida & circulation problems r not related. Problems associated with spina bifida are neurosurgical (back pain, nerve compression etc) orthopedic (gait, leg & foot broblems) or urologic (urinary incontince) & taken care of by specialists in those areas. Circulation problems r related to reduced blood flow to certain areas from spasm (raynaud's) kinked or compressed blood vessels & cause pain. ...Read more

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I have an occult spina bifida of s1. Will that affect me as a woman?

I have an occult spina bifida of s1. Will that affect me as a woman?

No: This will generally cause no symptoms or problems for you in the future. ...Read more

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Chances of a woman with spina bifida having a baby with spina bifida?

Depends on genetics: The epidemiology of this is different depending on your race and culture and where you live. So it is mostly genetic and also dependent on if you have Folic Acid deficiency in your diet. ...Read more