Anencephaly (pronounced an-en-sef-uh-lee) is a major birth defect in i beg your pardon a infant is born without parts of the mind and skull.

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What is anencephaly?

Anencephaly is a major birth defect in i beg your pardon a infant is born without components of the brain and skull. The is a form of neural pipe defect (NTD). As the neural pipe forms and closes, that helps kind the baby’s mind and skull (upper component of the neural tube), spinal cord, and ago bones (lower part of the neural tube).

Anencephaly happens if the upper component of the neural tube does not close all the way. This often results in a infant being born without the front component of the mind (forebrain) and the thinking and coordinating component of the brain (cerebrum). The remaining components of the brain are regularly not covered by bone or skin.

How countless Babies are Born with Anencephaly?

Researchers estimate that about 1 in every 4,600 babies is born v anencephaly in the joined States.1

Causes and also Prevention

The reasons of anencephaly amongst most infants are unknown. Some babies have anencephaly due to the fact that of a readjust in their gene or chromosomes. Anencephaly might also be led to by a mix of genes and other factors, such together the things the mother comes in contact with in the environment or what the mommy eats or drinks, or details medicines she uses throughout pregnancy.

Getting enough folic acid before and also during at an early stage pregnancy can help prevent neural pipe defects, such together anencephaly. If you room pregnant or could get pregnant, take 400 micrograms (mcg) the folic mountain every day. If you have already had a pregnancy affected by an NTD, you deserve to speak through your doctor around taking a greater dose of folic acid before pregnancy and during at an early stage pregnancy.

In bespeak to acquire the encourage 400 micrograms of folic mountain every day, a mrs of reproductive age can take it a complement containing folic acid or to eat foods items fortified through folic acid, or both, depending on her diet habits. is dedicated to far better understanding the causes of bear defects. Knowledge the determinants that are more common among babies through a bear defect will aid us learn much more about the causes. funds the Centers because that Birth Defects Research and also Prevention, i beg your pardon collaborate on huge studies such as the national Birth Defects avoidance Study (NBDPS; births 1997-2011), to recognize the causes of and risks for birth defects, including anencephaly.

If you room pregnant or thinking around becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor about ways to rise your chances of having actually a healthy and balanced baby.


Anencephaly can be diagnosed during pregnancy or ~ the baby is born.

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there are screening test (prenatal tests) to check for birth defects and other conditions. Anencephaly would an outcome in an abnormal an outcome on a blood or serum screening check or it could be seen during an ultrasound (which creates images of the body). For more information about screening and also confirmatory tests throughout pregnancy, visit’s birth defects diagnosis internet page.

After the infant is Born

In part cases, anencephaly can not be diagnosed till after the infant is born. Anencephaly is immediately seen at birth.


There is no known cure or conventional treatment because that anencephaly. Almost all babies born with anencephaly will die quickly after birth.

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Mai CT, Isenburg JL, Canfield MA, Meyer RE, Correa A, Alverson CJ, Lupo PJ, Riehle‐Colarusso T, Cho SJ, Aggarwal D, Kirby RS. Nationwide population‐based approximates for major birth defects, 2010–2014. Birth Defects Research. 2019; 111(18): 1420-1435.