Do you know about spina bifida ? Spina bifida is the term frequently used to describe various forms of a neural tube defect.
Other terms are myelomeningocele, meningocele and spina bifida occulta. These children are born with a lesion in the spinal column.
In normal development the spine is formed with a spinal cord making a column along the back surrounded by a membrane and the bones of the spine.
The spinal cord grows into this sac, and the spinal nerves are not properly connected to the spinal cord and the brain. This can result in many problems related to walking and elimination since both the urinary tract and the intestinal tract can be involved.
In addition there can be a problem with the accumulation of the spinal fluid in the head causing a condition called hydrocephalus. Surgical repair or closure of the lesion occurs shortly after birth, and if needed, a shunt is placed in the head to drain off excess fluid, usually into the abdominal cavity.
Children with spina bifida encounter many health problems. These include urinary tract infections, constipation, frequent infections involving the shunt, obesity and feeding problems related to swallowing. Since 1995, folic acid has been used to supplement the dietary intake of women of childbearing age.
No one knows for what causes spina bifida. Scientists believe that genetic and environmental factors act together to cause the condition.
Spina Bifida Treatment
A child with this disease usually is operated on within two to three days of birth. This prevents infections and help save the spinal cord from more damage.
Spina Bifida detected
Spina bifida can be detected by :-
1. A blood test during the 16th to 18th weeks of pregnancy.
2. An ultrasound of the fetus.
3. A test where a small amount of the fluid from the womb is taken through a thin needle. This is called maternal amniocentesis and can be used to look at protein levels.