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Doctor insights on: Need To Anencephaly

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What is anencephaly?

What is anencephaly?

Anencephaly: Anencephaly is one of a group of malformations of the central nervous system collectively called neural tube defects. Anencephaly is readily apparent at birth because of the absence of the skull and scalp and with exposure of the underlying brain. ...Read more

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Dr. Richard Roberts
58 doctors shared insights

Anencephaly (Definition)

Anencephaly is a severe problem where the head of a fetus fails to develop normally. Usually, most of ...Read more


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What can I do to treat anencephaly?

What can I do to treat anencephaly?

Comfort care only!: Nobody can nor should help prolong the "lives" of these poor neonates. Anencephalic newborns are devoid of any chance of meaningful interaction with the environment and never attain consciousness. Comfort care is all that is ethically permissible for these dramatic cases. Take 4-5 mg daily of Folic Acid daily throughout your reproductive life, to prevent this from recurring in future pregnancies. ...Read more

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What are the tests for anencephaly?

Ultrasound.: Only expert prenatal ultrasound can reliably detect anencephaly after the first trimester of pregnancy. Amniotic fluid Alpha fetoprotein and acetylcholinesterase can also help reach the diagnosis. ...Read more

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What sort of problem is anencephaly?

What sort of problem is anencephaly?

Failure of closure: The fetus is busy around 20-30 days in when the nervous system starts forming along a line like a trench. The trench folds in on itself and begins to form a tube, sealing itself in the middle first and moving toward both ends like two zippers. When the top end fails to close, many brain structures don't form & we have anencephaly.At the bottom, we get spina bifida. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of anencephaly?

What are the symptoms of anencephaly?

None.: The mother usually has no symptoms when she is carrying an anencephalic infant, however this is a lethal fetal anomaly. Its recurrence in future pregnancies can be prevented with daily use of Folic Acid at 4-5 mg. ...Read more

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What is the main cause of anencephaly?

3 weeks after con-: ception, an embryo's neural plate develops a midline groove; its edges over-fold & close to form a neural tube. Anencephaly is the most severe of the Neural Tube Defects caused by interaction of one of several genes with environmental factors. Low maternal folate (folic acid) level at conception is a main cause; MTHFR, a main gene iinvolved. Fertile women who take daily Folic Acid have lower risk of NTD's. ...Read more

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What are the tests that indicate anencephaly?

What are the tests that indicate anencephaly?

Anencephaly: Anencephaly is a serious birth defect where the brain does not form and the top of the skull is open. It is an extreme form of a neural tube defect. Tests which can indicate anencephaly are an ultrasound examination. A blood test called msafp can be drawn at 15 weeks also. ...Read more

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I'm 15 weeks and they told me that my baby have anencephaly. I don't know what to do?

I'm 15 weeks and they told me that my baby have anencephaly.  I don't know what to do?

Sorry for your loss: I've been through about half a dozen of these but never in your shoes. Another 30+ weeks of pregnancy carrying this burden may or may not be something you can bear when the outcome is so predictable & bad. Consult your spouse, spiritual adviser, & pray. Do what fits for your needs & grieve for what might have been. See & hold baby whatever you do to say good bye. Followup with a geneticist later. ...Read more

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What is iniencephaly vs anencephaly?

What is iniencephaly vs anencephaly?

Same.: Iniencephaly is as lethal as anencephaly and associated with an extreme retroflexion of the fetal head towards the back. ...Read more

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What do doctors say when they tell a family the baby has anencephaly>?

What do doctors say when they tell a family the baby has anencephaly>?

Hopefully,the truth: The difficulty of transmitting this info to the parents is much less than the sadness & loss the parents will feel when they get the info. Pregnancy is one of life's gambles & up to 4% have an unexpected event after delivery.Accurate information on how/why/recurrence risks are all part of the problem management. Either the OB or a geneticist /counselor should fill in the blanks. ...Read more