What is Spina Bifida

When the egg fertilizes to form the embryo, the development of the brain and the spinal cord happens within 28 days of the pregnancy. However, due to some problems, this development is not complete and this causes brain disorders as well as spinal disorders, which is known as Spina Bifida.

Spina Bifida is another name for cleft spine. This is a phenomenon, which has the feature of incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord and the meninges. A layer of membrane called as the meninges protects the brain and the spinal cord. There are many babies, which suffer from this problem in the country of United States. The rate of this problem is very high and ranges up to 2000 children out of the 4 million babies born each year.

There are various kinds of spina bifida occurring in the babies. This article will discuss all the four types of the diseases.

  • Occulta- this is one of the most lightest and common form of the disease, which is found in the babies. In this form, one or several of the vertebrae will be malformed. The word occulta means hidden and this indicates the opening in the spinal cord, which is covered by the skin. This form cases disability in very rare cases.
  • Closed neural tube defects- this is the second type of spina bifida. This is a form which has a varied set of defects in the spinal cord. It is mainly the malformation of fat, bones and the membrane. This form will show very less or no symptoms at all. Even if there are effects, it will lead to partial paralysis along with problems in the urinary system and digestive system.
  • Meningocele- this is a form, which has the malformation in the body coming out of the opening and is most of the times, not covered by a layer of skin. This form too does not have any symptoms but will have the same as closed neural tube defects, if any.
  • Myelomeningocele- this is the last type of spinal bifida and is the most severe one. The spinal cord is exposed through the opening in this case. The obvious symptom is the paralysis and it is present in such a severe way that the patient is unable to walk. There are also bowel and urinal dysfunctions.

Thus, the problems of the spina bifida can vary from baby to baby. However, various treatments can be given to all of these forms. The cure or relief will depend on the baby’s ability to respond to the medicines and treatments given to it.