What isAnencephaly? Anencephaly is a condition present at birth that affects the formation of the brain and the skull bones that surround the head. Infants are born without a fore-brain (the thinking and coordinating area) and are usually blind, deaf, unconscious and are unable to feel pain. Anencephaly is seen 5 times more often in females than males.
What causeAnencephaly? Anencephaly is a type of neural tube defect. Neural tube defects, spina bifida (open spine) and anencephaly (open skull) are seen in one per 1,000 live births. During pregnancy, the human brain and spine begin as a flat plate of cells, which rolls into a tube, called the neural tube. If all or part of the neural tube fails to close, leaving an opening, this is known as an open neural tube defect, or ONTD. This opening may be left exposed (80 percent of the time), or covered with bone or skin (20 percent of the time).
What are thesymptoms? The following are the most common symptoms of anencephaly. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include: Absence of bony covering over the back of the head. Missing bones around the front and sides of the head. Congenital heart defects Some basic reflexes, but without the cerebrum, there can be no consciousness.
How is diagnosed?- Diagnostic tests performed during pregnancy to evaluate the baby for anencephaly include the following: Alpha-fetoprotein - a protein produced by the fetus that is excreted into the amniotic fluid. Abnormal levels of alpha- fetoprotein may indicate brain or spinal cord defects. Amniocentesis - a test performed to determine chromosomal and genetic disorders and certain birth defects. The test involves inserting a needle through the abdominal and uterine wall into the amniotic sac to retrieve a sample of amniotic fluid. Ultrasound (Also called sonography.) - a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Blood tests
At Risk: Women taking anticonvulsant medication. Woman with undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes. Any woman with a family history of neural tube defects.
Treatment: There is no cure for anencephaly. Prognosis: The prognosis for babies born with anencephaly is extremely poor. If the infant is not stillborn, then he or she will usually die within a few hours or days after birth.
Prevention: Taking 4 to 5 milligrams of folic acid daily for 2 to 3 months before conception for all woman at risk of having a child with a neural tube defect.
Works Cited Anencephaly Information." National Institutes of Health. 31 Jul. 2005 " <http://www.anencephaly.net/anencephaly.html>. Nilsson , Lennart . "Anencephaly Awareness." 31 Jul. 2005 <http://www.angelfire.com/mb/jessicasjourney/info.html>. NINDS Anencephaly Information Page. National Institute of Health. 31 Jul. 2005 <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/anencephaly/anencephaly.htm >. Anencephaly Picture." 31 Jul. 2005 <http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images/view?back=http%3A%2F %2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3F_adv_prop%3Dimages %26imgsz%3Dall%26imgc%3D%26vf%3Dall%26va%3Danencephaly%26fr %3DFP-tab-web-t%26ei%3DUTF-8&h=727&w=1113&imgcurl=www.unm.edu%2F %7Ebioanth3%2Fgrowth%2Fmed_sketch.gif&imgurl=www.unm.edu%2F %7Ebioanth3%2Fgrowth %2Fmed_sketch.gif&size=223.3kB&name=med_sketch.gif&rcurl=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.unm.edu%2F%7Ebioanth3%2Fgrowth%2Ftamryn%2527s.htm&rurl=http %3A%2F%2Fwww.unm.edu%2F%7Ebioanth3%2Fgrowth%2Ftamryn %2527s.htm&p=anencephaly&type=gif&no=9&tt=225&ei=UTF-