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What is spina bifida?

Spina bifida is a birth defect involving the spine, spinal cord and the protective covering of the spinal cord called the meninges. Spina bifida occurs when the cells that form the neural tube don't 'zip' up correctly, leaving part of the spinal cord or meninges exposed outside of the spine. This can lead to damage of the exposed spinal cord, which can affect various motor and sensory bodily functions.

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Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 07 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 5.0 out of 5
Votes: 1537 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Fetal alcohol syndrome

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