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Spina Bifida

 

Spina bifida is a congenital defect affecting the spinal cord and the vertebrae.

Causes

Its causes are not clear.

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on the severity of the condition and may include:

  • Opening in the spinal vertebrae
  • Fluid filled sac on the back
  • Lack of bladder and bowel control
  • Learning difficulties
  • Scoliosis
  • Varying degrees of paralysis
  • Hydrocephalus or excessive fluid around the brain
  • Latex allergy

Treatment

  • Antibiotics to prevent infection
  • Surgery to close the opening in the vertebrae
  • Installing a shunt to drain the excess fluid in the brain

Prevention

  • Folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy