What is Anencephaly? causes and symptoms.

Anencephaly in a baby

Anencephaly is a condition where a child is born missing some brain and skull parts. In most cases, it occurs when a child is born without the front part of the brain. It is a form of neural tube defect (NTD). The neural tube which opens and closes during growth helps in the formation of the child’s brain and skull. This condition occurs when the neural tube does not close during the formation of the brain leading to a lack of forebrain.

Factors leading to the condition.

So, causes of anencephaly condition are undiscovered among babies due to a change in their genes or chromosomes. some of the factors that lead to the condition are listed below.

A. Intake Of Medicines During Pregnancy.

It can also occur when the mother takes certain medicines during the pregnancy period. Adequate folic acid during pregnancy period helps in the prevention of neural tube disorders. When pregnant, you should ensure that you consume 400 micrograms (mcg) every day of folic acid. Pregnant women should ask for advice from a doctor regarding the amount of folic acid to take during the pregnancy period.

B. Obesity

This is a state where there is excessive fat accumulation. When there is too much extra fat in your body it can alternate the way it functions. This body fat can get worse as time goes by leading to negative health effects. Pregnant mothers should check their diet by avoiding obese foods during the pregnancy period.

C. Environmental Factors

However, factors such as infection occur during the stages of development. A developing baby goes through stages such as the embryo stage which is the first after fertilization. When infections occur during this stage they increase the risk of damage to the organs while developing.

D. Intake of alcohol.

Alcohol has a higher percentage of damage compared to other drugs. Pregnant mothers should avoid drinking alcohol as it leads to developmental delay and abnormal physical features.

E. High Temperatures.

A pregnant mother should avoid exposure to extremely high temperatures. This includes activities done in a hot tub or sauna. These activities increase the risk of neural tube defects.

Symptoms Of Anencephaly Condition

Anencephaly in a toddler

Some of the symptoms of anencephaly condition include;

  • Lack of a bone covering the back of the head

After the birth of a child if he or she does not have a bone covering the head this is considered to be a symptom of a neural tube defect.

  • Ears folding.

After birth, if an infant has the ears folded this can be a sign of a neural tube defect which should be examined.

  • Lack of bones on the head.

When a child has inadequate bone structures on the front sides of the head can be considered a sign of a neural tube defect.

  • Cleft palate

This is a deformity that occurs when an infant’s lip does not form well during the pregnancy period.

Treatment Of Anencephaly Condition.

Currently, there is no cure for anencephaly or standardized treatment. Therefore only efforts are made to ensure that the child is comfortable. This condition mostly leads to death among children. To assist parents in managing the loss of their loved one, counseling is offered.

Anencephaly Versus Microcephaly.

These conditions are both related to the development of the nervous system. They mostly appear similar but are different. Microcephaly occurs when a newborn has a smaller head circumference compared to the normal. Anencephaly is detectable at birth while microcephaly becomes rare to detect. A baby with microcephaly experiences normal growth of the other parts of the body exempting the head. A child with microcephaly may experience a smaller lifespan as compared to one who has anencephaly.

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