> Malformations of the fetus, neural tube defects

The neural tube is a structure present in the embryo developing dà the origin of the brain and spinal cord.

This structure appears early on as a small ribbon of fabric that little by little, starting from 28 days of gestation, it folds towards the inside taking the shape of a tube.

When this process is not done correctly, the tube does not close completely, damaging irreparably the formation of the spinal cord and brain.

The main neural tube defects are: spina bifida, anencephaly, and the encefalocele.

In the case of the spina bifida the lack of closure of the neural tube is sì that a part of the spinal cord bait outside of the vertebral column.

The nerves that ensure the proper functioning of the lower part of the body of the child are così severely damaged.

The result is a weakness in the muscle of different entityà, which in the cases più serious up to a real paralysis of the legs (with loss of sensitivityà) and a possible defect in the control of bladder and bowel (the child is unable to retain faeces and urine).

In some children with spina bifida può also form a collection of fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus), which canò in turn determine brain damage.

The seriousnessà damage is different from case to case, but it is still malformations serious, with an important weight on the future of the child.

anencephaly is a defect which does not allow the child to survive: the upper part of the skull and the brain does not develop, and this can; lead to miscarriage, birth of a dead child or death shortly after birth.

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What è the frequency of neural tube defects in Italy?

In Italy there are different registries that collect data related to the malformations: neural tube defects occur with a frequency just less than one case per 1300 pregnancies.

This means that in Italy there are approximately 400 cases per year of malformations of this type. In this number are included also the cases that do not reach the end of the pregnancy sinceé have intervened in a miscarriage or a termination of pregnancy (after an early diagnosis of the defect).

With a adequate prevention, the use of folic acid, could significantly decrease this number to this: prevention in fact, può to ensure the birth of healthy approximately 200 of children.

Small dictionary

Antibodies molecules that appear in the blood after the body is come into contact with something that he recognized as a stranger

Embryo: the product of conception up to eight weeks of intrauterine life

Screenshotsà: the transmission of some biological characters from parents to offspring, through the generations

Fetus: the product of conception from the beginning of the ninth week of intrauterine life at birth

Genetic: that concerns the origin, the formation, reproduction, and the screenshotsà of biological

Microgram: a millionth of a gram

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Pregnancy > to Prepare for the pregnancy > I decided to have a son > To a child, healthy and without defects > who To ask for advice > genetic diseases > infectious Disease > Drugs in pregnancy > For a pregnant più safe > Malformations, as well as reduce the risk of > neural tube defects > folic acid before pregnancy! > How to increase the intake of folic acid > folic Acid contraindications

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Page last updated on June 5, 2013