What is Spina Bifida? It is a birth defect that effects the the spine. It occurs when the bones of the spine do not form properly around the part of the baby's spine. Spina Bifida is one of the most common birth defects.
Symptoms: The Mild Form: more common form. It generally has no symptoms, and usually does not cause problems. So most people don't even know that they have it until they are tested. The Severe Form: less common. There are two types. Meningocele (muh-NIN-juh-seel) Fluid leaks out of the spine and pushes against the skin. You may see a bulge in the skin. Myelomeningocile (my-uh-loh-muh- NIN-juh-seel) Although this is the most rare, this is typically the form people mean when they say, “Spina Bifida,” Part of the spinal nerves push out of the spinal canal, and you may see a bulge in the skin. Many of the nerves are also damaged, which can cause problems with walking or the bladder.
Awareness A sac sticking out of the spine of the baby. The child did not start walking or crawling until later than it should have. Extreme sleepiness High-pitched crying A child may have a dimple, a birthmark, or a hairy patch on his or her back.
In severe cases, you may see nerves coming out of your child’s back or swelling on the spine. A child with a severe defect may have nerve damage that affects daily living. The child may have little or no feeling in the legs, feet, or arms. nerve damage feet And he or she may not be able to move those parts of the body.
Populations (cont.) Each year, about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida. Hispanic women have the highest rate of having a child affected by spina bifida compared with Non-Hispanic White and Non-Hispanic Black women: Hispanic: 4.17 per 10,000 Non-Hispanic Black or African-American: 2.64 per10,000 Non-Hispanic White: 3.22 per 10,000 Women who have had one child with Spina Bifida are 85% more likely to have another child with Spina Bifida.
Cause of the Defect: The exact cause of Spina Bifida is still a mystery to this day. But, it does seem to have patterns of running in families. Scientists suspect genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors play a role. Research studies indicate that insufficient intake of folic acid in the mother's diet is a key factor in causing spina bifida.
Diagnostics A pregnant woman may have a blood test or a test on a hormone, called maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP for short) level. hormone is usually high in women carrying a child with Spina Bifida. There are usually three tests: A test on MSAFP An ultrasound A testing on the amniotic fluid (amniocentesis)
Treatment Surgery to repair defect is recommended. The child also might need a treatment called Ventricular Peritoneal Shunt. Which is a treatment where they drain extra fluid. This disease can also cause many infections. A high fiber diet is very important for people dealing with Spina Bifida.
Prevention: THERE IS NO CURE. May be prevented by getting enough Folic Acid Supplementation of the mother's diet with folate can reduce the incidence of neural tube defects by about 70%, and can also decrease the severity of these defects when they occur. It is unknown how or why folic acid has this effect.
Support: March of Dimes National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and strokes Spina Bifida Association March of Dimes explains to people about certain defects and the causes and preventions you need to know to help your baby. NINDS tries to find cures for the defect and has a lot of fundraisers. SBA helps adults and children deal with the defect and how to live with it.