Spina Bifida
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Know More About Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a Latin word that means split spine. It is a disease that affects the neural tube. This defect is present in the patient from the time of birth. If any of the thirty-three vertebrae of the spine has formed in an improper way during the first stages of pregnancy, it is unable to protect the spinal nerves. This makes the nerves of the central nervous system damaged and causes Spina Bifida. The formation of the vertebrae that overlies spinal cord’s open portion sticks to the openings. There are surgeries, which can close the spina bifida after a child is born. However, this surgery does not make the spinal cord’s affected part capable to function in a normal way. The effects of spina bifida are very painful and the patient had to face serious consequences. It can cause improper mobilization, problems in bladder, there can also be difficulties in bowel movement and in some cases it also leads to paralysis.

Types of Spina Bifida

 The extremity of spina bifida is based on the distance between of the affected area from the spine and the effects of the defects on the functioning of the spinal cord. The deformities of the spina bifida can be classified into three types. They are meningocele, myelomeningocele or spina bifida cystica and spina bifida occulta. The deformities are generally located in spinal cord’s sacral and lumbar area. Myelomeningocele is the commonest form of spina bifida. Nearly all the people affected by this become disabled.

Causes of Spina Bifida:

Several researches were made to identify the cause of Spina Bifida. However, the actual cause of this problem is unknown. The amalgamation of the environmental and genetic factors is suggested as the cause of spina bifida. Recently, it had been discovered that the severity of the disease is caused by the defect in LPP1 gene. Neural tube’s failure in the first stage of the development of embryo is the major cause of the defect. Diabetes, anticonvulsants, obesity of a pregnant mother leads to spina bifida of the baby. Blood relation with a person having spina bifida can be responsible for having a spina bifida baby. If the temperature of a pregnant woman becomes high due to fever or for any external purpose then it can lead to spina bifida. Though there are large numbers of cases in which a woman giving birth to a spina bifida baby did not have any of these causes. According to some of the researches deficiency of folic acid is one of the major causes of spina bifida and also for many other problems related to neural tube.

Symptoms of Spina Bifida:

The symptoms of spina bifida depend on the severity of the spinal defect. In the cases that have rare chances of disability a person can have symptoms like small growth of hair or dimple on back. In case of spina bifida cystica, a person can have a cyst or sack resembling a blister. It is found to be covered with a layer of skin that is very thin. The tissues covering the spinal cord are present in the sack. As the defect mainly occurs in the sacral and lumbar areas, a person can have problems in the areas controlled by these nerves. Some of them also can have problems of cognition.

Spina Bifida Treatments:

The cause and treatment that can heal or prevent spina bifida completely is not yet identified. In cases with minor defects treatment is generally not required. The doctors perform surgery if the problem is severe. Surgery is also required for washing off the cerebrospinal fluid. Physiotherapy in many of the cases has become helpful for mobilization. A patient having problems in urine might require urinary catheter. The support of the family is also necessary. The chances of spina bifida can be checked to seventy percent if a mother consumes supplements of folic acid during her pregnancy.

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