Other Names for this Disease
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spina bifida. It happens when parts of the spinal cord and nerves come through the open part of the spine. It causes nerve damage and other disabilities. Seventy to ninety percent of children with this condition also have too much fluid on their brains (hydrocephalus). This happens because fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord is unable to drain like it should. The fluid builds up, causing pressure and swelling. Without treatment, a person’s head grows too big, and they may have brain damage. Other disorders of the spinal cord may be seen, including syringomyelia and hip dislocation. The cause of myelomeningocele is unknown. However, low levels of folic acid in a woman's body before and during early pregnancy is thought to play a part in this type of birth defect.Myelomeningocele is the most severe form of
Last updated: 1/11/2013
- Liptak, G. Spina Bifida fact sheet. Spina Bifida Association. June 2008; http://www.spinabifidaassociation.org/site/c.liKWL7PLLrF/b.2642343/k.8D2D/Fact_Sheets.htm. Accessed 4/23/2012.
- Zieve D., Eltz D., Kaneshiro N . Myelomeingocele. Medline Plus. 2011; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001558.htm. Accessed 4/24/2012.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
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- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Myelomeningocele. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.