At present we don’t know exactly why spina bifida develops, and research continues. Spina bifida occulta is the most common type of spina bifida and the least likely to cause symptoms that require treatment. By this time in the child's life, the spinal cord has become fastened to the backbone. However, most commonly it is used as a synonym or subset of spinal dysraphism. Spina bifida results from an incomplete formation of the brain, spinal cord, and/or meninges in an infant. Within the Federal Government, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the Federal Government’s leading supporter of research on brain and nervous system disorders. Spina bifida happens during the first 28 days of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. Estimates vary, but between 5% and 10% of people may have spina bifida occulta. For infants born with a myelomeningocele, the spinal cord does not form properly and a portion of the undeveloped cord protrudes through the back. Spina bifida occulta (SBO) is a type of spinal dysraphism or ‘closed’, skin-covered form of spina bifida. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the spine doesn’t fully form, this issue is visible as the spinal cord and meninges will begin to push through an infant’s back. Early surgery on a tethered spinal cord may allow the child to return to their baseline level of functioning and prevent further neurological deterioration. A combination of genetics and environmental factors is thought to be the main cause. Another component of the NIH, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), is conducting a large 5-year study to determine if fetal surgery to correct spina bifida in the womb is safer and more effective than the traditional surgery—which takes place a few days after birth. It occurs when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) do not close completely. More severe than spina bifida occulta, meningocele can nevertheless be repaired through surgery with little or no nerve damage resulting. The more the spinal cord is stretched, the worse the symptoms become. There are four types of spina bifida: occulta, closed neural tube defects, meningocele, and myelomeningocele. The result can be difficulties such as weakness and numbness in the legs, bladder infections and incontinence (lack of bladder and bowel control). Although amniocentesis cannot reveal the severity of spina bifida, finding high levels of AFP and other proteins may indicate that the disorder is present. How is spina bifida treated? Adults with spina bifida tend to have high rates of obesity. Many foods—such as some breakfast cereals, enriched breads, flours, pastas, rice, and other grain products—are now fortified with folic acid. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect characterized by incomplete closure of the backbone and the membrane surrounding the spinal cord. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. Can the disorder be prevented? Information also is available from the following organizations: National Institute of Child Health and Human Information Resource Center This form consists of a diverse group of defects in which the spinal cord is marked by malformations of fat, bone, or meninges. 2 In this type of spina bifida, the meninges, which are the protective membranes that surround the spinal cord, are pushed out between openings in the vertebrae. Orthopedic issues such as osteoporosis, early on-set of arthritis, and progressive back pain. Estimates vary, but between 5% and 10% of people may have spina bifida occulta. Spina bifida occulta literally means "a hidden spot on the spine," and for many people with this type of spina bifida, the spot remains hidden. Myelomeningocele is the most serious type of spina bifida. Women who already have a child with spina bifida, who have spina bifida themselves, or who have already had a pregnancy affected by any neural tube defect are at greater risk of having another child with spina bifida or another neural tube defect; 5-10 times the risk to the general population. Other scientists are studying genetic risk factors for spina bifida, especially those that diminish or lessen the function of folic acid in the mother during pregnancy, possibly leading to spina bifida in the fetus. The opening can be repaired through surgery, but the nerve damage isn’t resolved and that causes permanent disability. Spina bifida can occur anywhere along the backbone, but is most often found in the small of the back or further down. There are four main types of spina bifida: Occulta:This is the mildest form. Women with spina bifida are able to get pregnant, however their condition can make pregnancy more complex. Surgery to relieve these symptoms by reducing the tension on the spinal cord is simple and often successful. To avoid this, plastic shunts must be surgically inserted beneath the skin to drain off excess fluid into the abdominal cavity. Many people are unaware they suffer from it. There are three main types of spina bifida: Spina bifida occulta (SBO): This is the most common and mildest form of the defect. The signs of spina bifida are characteristic to each individual, depending on the type of spina bifida. Generally, children with the mildest form need no treatment, although some may require surgery as they grow. Chiari II malformation may also result in a blockage of cerebrospinal fluid, causing a condition called hydrocephalus, which is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in and around the brain. Types of Spina Bifida There are three main types of Spina bifida that present differently and range in severity: spina bifida occulta, meningocele, and myelomenigocele. 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