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What causes spina bifida?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Spina bifida is a birth defect that results from the improper forming of the neural tube, the part of the developing baby that eventually becomes the brain, spinal cord, and surrounding tissue. If the tube does not develop properly or fails to close, the defect occurs in varying degrees.

Doctors are not sure what causes the improper formation of the tube, but they suspect it has something to do with low amounts of folic acid, a vitamin given with prenatal supplements. Genetic and environmental risk factors may also explain the birth defect.

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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.