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Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Neural tube defect

A neural tube defect (NTD) is a birth defect that occurs when the spine, the brain, or the bone and skin that protect them do not develop properly. The most common type of neural tube defect is spina bifida, in which the spinal cord or spinal nerves may bulge out through an opening in the bones of the spine.

The neural tube is the part of a developing fetus that grows into the spinal cord and brain. Normally, the bones of the skull and spine grow around the brain and spinal cord, and then skin covers the bones, creating the neural tube. A neural tube defect occurs when this process doesn't happen normally.

Neural tube defects can be found with prenatal tests, such as ultrasound and amniocentesis. In spina bifida, treatment depends on the severity. Surgery may be done to repair the spinal defect or to correct complications. Physical therapy, braces, and other treatments may be necessary to help the child with problems resulting from nerve damage.

Anencephaly is the second most common type of neural tube defect. In anencephaly, the infant is born with only a partially formed brain and spinal cord. This condition is always fatal.

Neural tube defects may be prevented if a woman takes folic acid before becoming pregnant and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

COVID-19 Update

We are happy to announce we are now open for annual wellness exams!

Please be advised that anyone with cough, fever, or other symptoms will be asked to leave the premises and follow up with their primary care physician. 

As always, we will be closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (863) 299-1107

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

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