Overview Of Neurological Birth Defects

Neurological Birth defects may occur in the brain and spinal code of the infants due to incomplete or faulty development of these structures in the fetus.

  • Some defects occur very early in the fetus while others develop later in pregnancy.
  • Paralysis, retardation of mental and intellectual development, lack of sensation in certain parts of the body, and incontinence, are some of the usual symptoms.
  • CT scan or Magnetic resonance imaging can diagnose brain and spinal cord defects.
  • Surgical repair of certain abnormalities resulting from these defects is possible, but many defects cause permanent disabilities.

Certain brain and spinal cord defects such as neural tube defects develop very early in pregnancy, usually in the first few weeks. Others like hydrocephaly and porencephaly may develop much later. Many characteristic structural and morphological abnormalities result from defects in the brain and spinal cord.

When the brain tissue or the tissue of the spinal cord is affected by defective development, it results in symptoms typical of brain damage or those of spinal cord damage. Severe brain damage can have fatal consequences but less severe defects often result in various degrees of disability depending on the extent of damage caused to the brain. The usual symptoms of brain damage include paralysis, seizures, lack of mental development, reduced intellectual ability and learning difficulties.

Severe spinal cord damage can also result in paralysis. Other common symptoms include incontinence, lack of control over bowel movements, lack of sensation in the body parts below defective area of the spinal cord, decreased sensation of the skin etc. Computed tomography, as well as magnetic resonance imaging, can provide accurate images of the structure of the brain and the spinal cord, and help detect any defect occurring in these organs.

Abnormal growths, swellings, and incompletely closed openings are surgically corrected as soon as possible. The damage that has already occurred to the brain as well as to the spinal cord may be irreversible, but surgical repair of abnormalities help in improving function and reducing complications in future. Immediate medical intervention and surgical correction of certain defects facilitates further normal growth and development of the infants.

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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