What Is Spina Bi­fida?

Daily Trust - - DIGEST -

Spina bi­fida is a con­gen­i­tal mal­for­ma­tion in which there is some­thing wrong with the bone in the ver­te­bral col­umn, ex­pos­ing the spinal cord which should be pro­tected within the ver­te­bral col­umn. It is caused by the in­com­plete clos­ing of the em­bry­onic neu­ral tube. Con­gen­i­tal mal­for­ma­tion means a birth de­fect.

The cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem in­cludes the brain, nerves and spinal cord. The spinal cord con­sists of nerve cells and nerve bun­dles that con­nect ev­ery part of the body to the brain.

Dur­ing the first month af­ter con­cep­tion, the em­bryo de­vel­ops a prim­i­tive tis­sue struc­ture known as the neu­ral tube. Grad­u­ally, this struc­ture de­vel­ops into bones, nerves and tis­sue which even­tu­ally form the ner­vous sys­tem and spine. When the un­born baby has spina bi­fida some­thing goes wrong with the neu­ral tube and spinal col­umn de­vel­op­ment - it does not close fully. The spinal col­umn is a ridge of bone that pro­tects and sur­rounds the nerves.

The word Spina Bi­fida comes from the Latin “spina” mean­ing spine, and “bi­fida” mean­ing split.

Culled from med­i­cal­new­sto­day.com

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