Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida, the most severe form of which is known as myelomeningocele, is a birth defect in which the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. Recent research indicates a connection between Spina Bifida and a deficiency of folic acid in the diet of the mother.

943 Questions
Spina Bifida

What chromosome does Spina Bifida affect?

From all I have read and studied (I am a 2nd semester senior nursing student at a major university) Spina Bifida is not so much a chromosomal defect as a neural defect caused by a lack of folic acid during the very early stages of pregnancy.

This is why women who wish to get pregnant are encouraged to begin taking folic acid BEFORE they actually get pregnant.

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Genetics
Spina Bifida

Is there a Punnett square demonstrating inheritance pattern for Spina Bifida?

No, there is no punnet square that can show the inheritance pattern for spina bifida. Spina bifida doesn't follow a strict inheritance pattern, but hereditary factors do play some role, though it is not completely understood yet.

Mothers who have had one child with spina bifida have a 3-4% chance of their next child having spina bifida, while the general population only has a 0.1-0.2% chance. In the case a pregnant woman has a family history of spina bifida, it is recommended that they take a higher dose of folic acid than other pregnant women. Here again, folic acid plays a role in preventing neural tube defects (like spina bifida), but the mechanism is not well understood.

Also, for an unknown reason, it is more prevalent in female children than in male children.

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Spina Bifida

What nutrient must be consumed by a prenatal woman to prevent fetal spina bifida?

Though it cannot be prevented completely, the chances can be reduced by about 75% by the woman taking folic acid supplements at least 3 months prior to becoming pregnant and then continuing them through at least the first trimester of pregnancy.

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Health
Conditions and Diseases
Spina Bifida

Is Spina Bifida an inherited disease?

Spina bifida doesn't follow a strict inheritance pattern, but hereditary factors do play some role, though it is not completely understood yet.

Mothers who have had one child with spina bifida have a 3-4% chance of their next child having spina bifida, while the general population only has a 0.1-0.2% chance. In the case a pregnant woman has a family history of spina bifida, it is recommended that they take a higher dose of folic acid than other pregnant women. Here again, folic acid plays a role in preventing neural tube defects (like spina bifida), but the mechanism is not well understood.

Also, for an unknown reason, it is more prevalent in female children than in male children.

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Symptoms
Spina Bifida

Can people with spina bifida walk?

Yes. I have spina bifida and I'm twenty years old and I've been able to walk completely normal my entire life with no crutches or braces of any kind and have never had any complications.

Not all people with Spina Bifida can walk. It depends on the severity of the condition in the individual. But with advances in medicine, children with Spina Bifida can now receive early intervention and many are able to walk, at least with crutches or a walker, if not unaided.

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Mental Health
Spina Bifida
Emotions

What is an emotional effect of Spina Bifida?

That can depend on how the child with Spina Bifida is treated, such as if he/she is teased, etc. The isolation a child with any disability may go through can also result in depression and self-esteem issues.

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Allergies
Head, Ears, and Nose
Spina Bifida

What is the prognosis of latex allergy?

swelling AND ITCHING OF THE HANDS OR WHERE THE LATEX HAS COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE ALLERGIC PERSONS SKIN....SEVERE MAY CAUSE DIFFICULTY BREATHING OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH...THROAT CLOSING TYPICAL SYMPTOM OF AN ALLERGIC REACTION

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Spina Bifida
Cystic Fibrosis

Does the disorder of cystic fibrosis affect specific population of people more than the other population?

Cystic fibrosis is most common in Caucasians of European descent.

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Pregnancy Health and Safety (Prenatal Care)
Pregnancy Gender Prediction
Pregnancy Activities and Exercises
Spina Bifida

How do women get pregnant by a women?

You can't, women do not produce sperm at all, only ovary gametes.

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Spina Bifida

How does Spina Bifida affect the bladder?

Answer

Bowel and bladder function are controlled by nerves which come from the lowest levels of the spinal column. Therefore, almost all individuals with Spina Bifida will have trouble controlling their bowel and bladder function. Close attention to emptying the bladder, promptly treating urinary tract infections and maintaining kidney function is essential to preserving the health of individuals with Spina Bifida.

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Spina Bifida

Do males carry gene for spina bifida?

It is not inherited. It seems to be due to the effects of several genes and the environment. This has not been proven.

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Spina Bifida

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina Bifida


Spina bifida (Latin: "split spine") is a developmental birth defect involving the neural tube: incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube results in an incompletely formed spinal cord. In addition, the bones of the spine (vertebrae) overlying the open portion of the spinal cord do not fully form and remain unfused and open. This allows the abnormal portion of the spinal cord to protrude through the opening in the bones. There may or may not be a fluid filled sac surrounding the open spinal cord.

Spina Bifida malformations fall into three categories: Spina Bifida Occulta, Spina Bifida Cystica (meningomyelocele), and meningocele. The most common location of the malformations is the lumbar and sacral areas of the spinal cord. Meningomyelocele is the most significant form and is that which leads to disability in most affected individuals. The terms Spina Bifida and meningomyelocele are usually used interchangeably.

Spina Bifida can be surgically closed after birth, but this does not restore normal function to the affected part of the spinal cord and an individual with this condition will have dysfunction of the spinal cord and associated nerves from the point of the open defect and below. Intrauterine surgery for Spina Bifida has also been performed and the safety and efficacy of this procedure is currently being investigated with an NICHD-funded grant. The incidence of Spina Bifida can be decreased up to 70% when daily folic acid supplements are taken prior to conception.1
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spina_bifida


i believe you mean Spina bifida when meansa congenital neural tube defect in which part of the meninges or spinal cord protrudes through the spinal column, often resulting in neurological impairment.
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Death and Dying
Spina Bifida

Can spina bifida cause death?

Spina Bifida in and of itself does not cause death, however, in patients with Spina Bifida Cystica, the opening in the back leaves the baby susceptible to meningitis. For that reason, it is important that the opening be closed as soon as possible after birth.

Many babies with Spina Bifida are also born with (or develop) Hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid in the ventricles of the brain. If the Hydrocephalus goes untreated, brain damage, and ultimately death, can occur.

One common cause of death in people with Spina Bifida is Arnold-Chiari Malformation Type II. This is a malformation of the brain in which the brain stem extends down into the cerebral tonsils. As a result, the brain may press against spinal nerves that control breathing, which can result in respiratory arrest and death.

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Spina Bifida

Is a newborn paralyzed immediately if it has Spina Bifida?

No, not necessarily. The level of paralysis is dependent on the level of the lesion, what vertebrae were affected and whether the lesion was open and the spinal cord and nerves were exposed.

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Spina Bifida

Can accutane cause spina bifida?

It can cause a number of very serious birth defects. Some of the most common are:

  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment and/or missing earlobes
  • Facial malformations
  • Mental retardation
  • Heart defects
  • Glandular and central nervous system malformations
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Spina Bifida

Does spina bifida cause deafness?

No, Spina Bifida does not affect the ears normally. There may exist other medical conditions in a child who has Spina Bifida, including conditions that affect the ears, but they would be separate conditions unrelated to the Spina Bifida.

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Spina Bifida

Does loss of your gall bladder affect bowel movements?

Yes it can. The gallbladder stores bile and then secretes it when needed. Bile is used to digest fatty foods, and so if the gallbladder is removed, the person will have difficulty digesting meals that have a high fat content.

This results in a condition called steatorrhea where the fat is not absorbed and stays in the intestines leading to oily, foul smelling stools, and possibly an oily anal leakage jor fecal incontinence can occur. These symptoms can be greatly reduced if the person avoids a high fat diet.

Another complication is absorption of the fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K), and as a result may need supplementation.

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Spina Bifida

What is the life expectancy of people with Spina Bifida?

The life expectancy with Spina Bifida is the same for males and females; it is a normal life expectancy, as long as bladder infections and pressure sores are kept under control and the hydrocephalus (water on the brain) shunt is watched carefully for shunt failure and replaced as necessary. Spina Bifida is not fatal these days, now that modern shunts and antibiotics are readily available, at least in developed countries.

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Vitamins and Supplements
Spina Bifida

A deficiency of which nutrient appears to be related to an increased risk of neural tube defects in the newborn?

Is it not folic acid? I'm not certain, but I know that that does affect the spine of babies of the mother is deficit - spinabifida. So it may also cause neural tube defects?

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Spina Bifida

What will happen to my baby as I'm pregnant with Spina Bifida?

You may have to have a C-section. Spina Bifida is known to have several different causes, including the possibility of being genetic. So there is a slight chance that your child may have Spina Bifida also. But these days there are much better treatments available, such as earlier surgeries and shunting for hydrocephalus. They have a much better chance of walking now because of the earlier surgeries. For a mother with Spina Bifida, there may be some back pain issues and you will certainly have to discuss it with your ob-gyn, they may want you to be in bed for the last few months of your pregnancy.

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Spina Bifida

How does spina bifida affect the family?

Spina Bifida can affect the family, because the person that has it is most likely going to have a shorter life span. It also might affect them because they have to take care of the person, and watch them be disabled.

Spina Bifida no longer is necessarily going to affect the lifespan. There are treatments for it now that can give the person a normal lifespan. They may need help in some ways from the family, but if they are cared for by themselves and/or family as well as physicians properly, they should have a normal lifespan.

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Spina Bifida

Is Spina Bifida a late onset disorder?

No, Spina Bifida develops in the first trimester while a baby is in the womb.

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Spina Bifida

Is Spina Bifida inherited or not?

Yes, My daughter was born in 1972 with Spina Bifida and her daughter was born in 1996 with Spina bifida. I also found out that my paternal grandmother had a daughter with a spina defect which I am sure was probably Spina Bifida.

However the baby died shortly after birth.

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Spina Bifida

How are Spina Bifida genes passed on?

Spina bifida doesn't follow a strict inheritance pattern, but hereditary factors do play some role, though it is not completely understood yet.

Mothers who have had one child with spina bifida have a 3-4% chance of their next child having spina bifida, while the general population only has a 0.1-0.2% chance. In the case a pregnant woman has a family history of spina bifida, it is recommended that they take a higher dose of folic acid than other pregnant women. Here again, folic acid plays a role in preventing neural tube defects (like spina bifida), but the mechanism is not well understood.

Also, for an unknown reason, it is more prevalent in female children than in male children.

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Famous People
Spina Bifida

Who are some famous people with Spina Bifida?

Hank Williams, Sr.

Williams was one of the most influential country musicians of all time, both as a singer and as a composer. He suffered severe back pain throughout his short life. Sources cite him as having spina bifida or spina bifida occulta. An operation in 1951 aimed at relieving his constant pain was not successful. Addicted to alcohol and morphine, Williams died at the age of 29.

CNN Co-anchor Judy Woodruff

Woodruff has a son with spina bifida. She has been instrumental in the annual SBAA Celebrity Roast which raises funds for the Spina Bifida Association of America. John Cougar Mellencamp

In the interview from the Special Olympics, he also said that two other people were born at the same time he was with spina bifida. He said he always saw a particular girl at the basketball games who was confined to a wheelchair. He asked someone who it was and they told him that she was one of the others born with spina bifida. John realized it could have been him in that wheelchair and that is one of the main reasons he did a song for the Special Olympics. Most of those with spina bifida end up like the girl in the wheelchair and are not as lucky as John.

Buddy Winnett

Buddy Winnett is a former horse jockey and trainer who is legally blind due to macular degeneration. Born in West Virginia to a large family, Winnett was diagnosed with spina bifida, and wasn't expected to live past the age of 6. Artist Frida Kahlo It is believed that Mexican artist Frida Kahlo may have had spina bifida, along with other disabilities, including residual damage from polio and injuries suffered in a bus accident. See Neurological Deficits in the Life and Works of Frida Kahlo by Valmantas Budrys of the Clinics of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania for more details.

Bruce Payne

British actor has a mild form of spina bifida. Learn more about his career on his page at IMDB.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

Mayor Daley had a son named Kevin who had spina bifida. Kevin died in 1981.

Quarterback Elvis Grbac

Elvis has a young son who has spina bifida. He was the quarterback of the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers.

Olympian Jean Driscoll

Jean was born with spina bifida. She is a seven-time winner of the Boston Marathon, setting world records in five of those races. She set a world record in the 10-kilometer race last year, and won silver medals in 800-meter events at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, as well as two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the 1996 Paralympics.

In 2000, Jean was voted #25 of the Top 100 Female Athletes of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated for Women, a list topped by the Olympic track and field sensation, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Poet Jay Bradford Fowler

Jay Bradford Fowler Jr., was an award-winning poet who was the author of 17 books of verse. He was born with spina bifida, and had been treated for degenerative arthritis throughout the 1990s. He had undergone at least 16 major operations over the years and had been bedridden the past eight years. The first of his 17 books of poetry, "Writing Down the Light," was published in 1987. A book of his collected poems, "Caged Angel," was published in 1997. His last book, "Outrageous Asylum, Sonnets from the Nursing Home," appeared in 1998. A final volume of his work is to be published this year.

Author Paul Monette

Monette was the older of two boys. His brother, Robert, was born with spina bifida. Monette became Robert's protector and champion. He also decided he would need to live an exemplary life to compensate for his brother's illness. "Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer's End" is a poignant, illuminating documentary on Paul Monette, the National Book Award-winning author, who wrote with eloquence and fire about the devastation of homophobia and AIDS, the disease that left him twice a widower and ended his own life in 1995 at age 49.

Sound Designer Jim LeBrecht

Jim was born with spina bifida. He is also the co-author (with composer Deena Kaye) of Sound and Music for the Theatre: the Art and Technique of Design, and has been a visiting professor at Yale University. LeBrecht has won numerous awards, including the San Francisco Bay Area Drama Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Sound Design, which might as well be renamed in his honor, since he's won it five times.

Actor Rene Kirby

Best known for his role in Shallow Hal, Rene (pronounced 'Reen') Kirby was born in Vermont in 1955. He also appeared in the film "Stuck On You" with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear and Eva Mendes, and the HBO series Carnivàle. Learn more about his career on his IMBD web page.

Theatrical Make-Up Artist Van Smith

Born in Florida in 1945, Walter Avant Smith Jr., showed an early interest in art, but lacked dexterity due to stiffness in his hands as a result of spina bifida. But he parlayed that interest into a career with film-maker John Waters after earning a degree in fashion arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Waters referred to Smith as the resident "ugly expert". He designed the pink satin ball gown adorned with huge cockroaches worn by Ricki Lake in Mr. Waters's 1988 film, "Hairspray" and Divine's trademark look. He also worked as an illustrator at Women's Wear Daily and other publications in New York. He died of a heart attack in December of 2006.

  • Waters Ally Van Smith; Films' Doyen of Dirt - Washington Post
  • Van Smith, 61, Dies; Created Divine's Distinctive Look - New York Times
  • IMDB web page
Journalist Gilbert M. Gaul

Gil is a 1979 Pulitzer Prize winner for Investigative Reporting and has written for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Washington Post. He has a son, Cary, who has spina bifida. Gil profiled his son's early years in the book "Giant Steps" which is currently out-of-print but can sometimes be found at used book stores and online.

Poet Robert Hensel

Robert was born with spina bifida. He an International poet-writer with well over 900 publications published worldwide. In 2000, Robert was nominated as one of the best poets of the 20th Century. Robert is also a Guinness & Ripley's World Record Holder for the longest non stop wheelie in a wheelchair, covering a total distance of 6.178 miles.

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