This is the mildest form and may produce no neurological signs or symptoms. Many times, Spina Bifida Occulta is not discovered until late childhood or adulthood. The key early priorities for treating myelomeningocele are to prevent infection from developing in the exposed nerves and tissue through the spinal defect, and to protect the exposed nerves and structures from additional trauma. In fact, the term “spina bifida occulta” is being used with less frequency as it seldom causes developmental problems, and is rarely diagnosed. For clarity, this type will be referred to as occult spinal dysraphism from this point on. Very mild forms (spinal bifida occulta), in which there are no symptoms, may never be detected. However, most commonly it is used as a synonym or subset of spinal dysraphism. Orthopedic issues such as osteoporosis, early on-set of arthritis, and progressive back pain. Occulta is the mildest and most common form in which one or more vertebrae are malformed. Closed neural tube defects: In this version, there can be a variety of potential defects in the spinal cord’s fat, bone, or meninges. Spina Bifida Occulta. The result can be difficulties such as weakness and numbness in the legs, bladder infections and incontinence (lack of bladder and bowel control). This condition can cause loss of muscle function to the legs, as well as changes in bowel and bladder function. [email protected] Rarely, spina bifida occulta will cause problems when a child grows to adolescence. "Occulta" means "hidden" in Latin, which in this case means that the defect is covered by skin. Bethesda, MD 20892. Box 3006 This condition can lead to compression of the spinal cord and cause a variety of symptoms including difficulties with feeding, swallowing, and breathing control; choking; and changes in upper arm function (stiffness, weakness). The impairment may be so severe that the affected individual is unable to walk and may have bladder and bowel dysfunction. Spina= Latin: “spine” Bifida= Latin:“split”Occulta = Latin: “hidden.” (Unlike in “open” spina bifida, the defect in spina bifida occulta is not visible. Although amniocentesis cannot reveal the severity of spina bifida, finding high levels of AFP and other proteins may indicate that the disorder is present. There are four types of spina bifida:  occulta, closed neural tube defects, meningocele, and myelomeningocele. Changes in bowel patterns including constipation or abdominal pain. Many foods—such as some breakfast cereals, enriched breads, flours, pastas, rice, and other grain products—are now fortified with folic acid. There are three main types of Spina Bifida and symptoms: Spina bifida occulta is the most common form of the spinal defect. These researchers are also studying gene expression during the process of neural tube closure, which will provide information on the human nervous system during development. Amniocentesis—an exam in which the doctor removes samples of fluid from the amniotic sac that surrounds the fetus—may also be used to diagnose spina bifida. National Institute of Child Health and Human Information Resource Center, [email protected], National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. In one study supported by NINDS, scientists are looking at the hereditary basis of neural tube defects. The spinal cord and the nerves usually are normal. In some people, though, the skin overlying the bony defect will show subtle changes, such as a dimple, red or purple coloring or a tuft of hair. Risks to the mother include infection, blood loss leading to the need for transfusion, gestational diabetes, and weight gain due to bed rest. What is the prognosis? Spina bifida occulta is the most common type of spina bifida and the least likely to cause symptoms that require treatment. These types of spina bifida range in severity from completely harmless and undetectable until an X-ray is performed later in life, to the spinal … Spina bifida is a neural tube birth defect that prevents your child's vertebrae from forming correctly. However, infants born with a more serious type of this disorder have open lesions on their spine where there’s significant damage to nerves and the spinal cord. Prognosis, activity, and participation depend on the number and severity of abnormalities and associated personal and environmental factors. Common signs and symptoms of Spina Bifida … There are three main types of spina bifida: spina bifida occulta, meningocele, and myelomeningocele. Spina bifida can cause a wide range of symptoms, including problems with movement, bladder and bowel problems, and problems associated with hydrocephalus (excess fluid on the brain). 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