Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Spina Bifida

Failure of the neural tube to close during fetal development. It is a congenital disorder that occurs when one or more vertebrae do not develop properly from the neural tube; a portion of the spinal cord and nerves also fail to develop properly. It is usually an isolated birth defect. It usually occurs within the first month of pregnancy, and affects 0.5-1 out of 1,000 infants born in the USA. Aka cleft spine, myelomeningocele.

See neural tube defect.

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