Spina Bifida Information
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that is characterized by the incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, and/or their protective coverings. Affecting 1,500 to 2,000 of the more than 4 million babies born each year, it is the most common neural tube defect in the United States.
Spina bifida occurs when a fetus's spine fails to close properly during its first month of development. In most cases, people with the mildest form of the disorder have no outward symptoms. In people with more severe cases, symptoms can include:
- Missing vertebrae
- Significant nerve damage
- Physical difficulties
(For more information, click Spina Bifida. This article tells you what you need to know about how the disorder is typically treated, possible causes, and more.)