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What birth defects are associated with hydrocephalus?

The most common birth defect associated with hydrocephalus is a neural tube defect. Neural tube defects affect the formation of the brain and spinal cord. They can develop anytime during the pregnancy and are usually detected by ultrasound, sampling the baby's blood, or sampling the amniotic fluid around the baby.

Myelomeningocele, particularly spina bifida, is thought to result in hydrocephalus because the spinal column fails to completely close, which leaks fluid into the brain. If caught early, this defect may be repaired surgically. The best way to prevent neural tube defects that may lead to hydrocephalus is to take folic acid during pregnancy and receive regular prenatal checkups.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.