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Spina bifida

Copp, AJ; Adzick, NS; Chitty, LS; Fletcher, JM; Holmbeck, GN; Shaw, GM; (2015) Spina bifida. Nature Reviews Disease Primers , 1 , Article 15007. 10.1038/nrdp.2015.7. Green open access

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Abstract

Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the vertebral column is open, often with spinal cord involvement. The most clinically significant subtype is myelomeningocele (open spina bifida), which is a condition characterized by failure of the lumbosacral spinal neural tube to close during embryonic development. The exposed neural tissue degenerates in utero, resulting in neurological deficit that varies with the level of the lesion. Occurring in approximately 1 per 1,000 births worldwide, myelomeningocele is one of the most common congenital malformations, but its cause is largely unknown. The genetic component is estimated at 60-70%, but few causative genes have been identified to date, despite much information from mouse models. Non-genetic maternal risk factors include reduced folate intake, anticonvulsant therapy, diabetes mellitus and obesity. Primary prevention by periconceptional supplementation with folic acid has been demonstrated in clinical trials, leading to food fortification programmes in many countries. Prenatal diagnosis is achieved by ultrasonography, enabling women to seek termination of pregnancy. Individuals who survive to birth have their lesions closed surgically, with subsequent management of associated defects, including the Chiari II brain malformation, hydrocephalus, and urological and orthopaedic sequelae. Fetal surgical repair of myelomeningocele has been associated with improved early neurological outcome compared with postnatal operation. Myelomeningocele affects quality of life during childhood, adolescence and adulthood, posing a challenge for individuals, families and society as a whole. For an illustrated summary of this Primer, visit: http://go.nature.com/fK9XNa.

Type: Article
Title: Spina bifida
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/nrdp.2015.7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrdp.2015.7
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Biology and Cancer Dept
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Genetics and Genomic Medicine Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1323887
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