Spina Bifida - Causes

Spina bifida is a genetic disorder that is caused by a combination of defective genes. It is one of a group of genetic disorders known as neural tube defects. The neural tube is a structure that forms very early in the life of a fetus. It eventually develops into the central nervous system of the body. The central nervous system includes the brain and the spinal cord.

Neural tube defects often appear very early, sometimes within the first three or four weeks after conception. Spina bifida occurs when the neural tube does not develop normally and the covering for the spinal cord fails to wrap completely around the spine. Open spaces develop, allowing part of the spine to stick out.

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