Definitions for "Neural Tube Defect"
Keywords:  spina, anencephaly, bifida, folic, ntds
Defects such as an incorrect or severely under developed brain and/or spinal cord resulting in spina bidfida or anencephaly. Babies with spina bidfida have muscle weakness, paralysis, or loss of sensation in the legs and may develop fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus). Babies born with anencephaly have severely underdeveloped brain and skull. (baby, his/her artery/vein, and, his/her brain, where it extends out, not fully developed, at birth)
An abnormality where the spine has not closed over the central nervous tissue. If this 'lesion' is at the head, the condition is called anencephaly and is incompatible with life. If it occurs anywhere lower down the spine it is called spina bifida and results in varying degrees of physical and mental disability. Detailed ultrasound scanning is the way in which these abnormalities are confirmed, often following a raised AFP blood test. Most NTDs are 'open' which means that there is no skin over the lesion in the spine; about 1 in 7 cases of spina bifida are 'closed' which means that although the spine has not covered the nervous tissue there is a covering of skin. These closed conditions are less likely to be detected antenatally by the AFP test.
a birth defect of the brain and spinal cord