The spina bifida is a congenital anomaly that results in an abnormal formation of the spine and the spinal cord. The two dominant types of spinal dysraphism are based on appearance - open spina bifida if the lesion is visible and closed spina bifida if the lesion is not visible on the body surface. These conditions lead to a different spectrum of neurological effects according to the degree of neurulation disruption. The prevalence of neural tube defects has different rates among different ethnicity, geography, gender, and countries. Genetic, nutritional and environmental factors play a role in the etiology and pathogenesis of the spina bifida. Congenital anomalies in the vast majority concern children living in the early neonatal period who have important medical, social or educational needs. The lifetime cost of a child born with the spina bifida is estimated at over €500,000.
Part of the book: Spina Bifida and Craniosynostosis