Important It is possible that the main title of the report Anencephaly is not the name you expected.
Summary Anencephaly is a term that refers to the incomplete development of the brain, skull, and scalp and is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects (NTD). The structure which will become the neural tube is supposed to fold and to close together (to form a tube) during the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy. From this neural tube, the brain and spinal cord of the embryo develop. Neural tube defects happen when the neural tube does not close as expected. Anencephaly occurs when the end of the neural tube that would have developed into the brain does not close properly, resulting in the failure of the development of major portions of brain, skull and scalp. Other neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, form when the neural tube does not close properly in a different part of the neural tube.
Infants with anencephaly are born without the front part of the brain, (forebrain) and the thinking and coordinating part of the brain (cerebral hemispheres and cerebellum). Most of the time the remaining brain tissue may be exposed, without skull or scalp to cover and protect it. Although reflex actions such as breathing and responses to touch or sound may occur, gaining consciousness is not possible. Usually infants with anencephaly do not survive more than a few days or weeks.
Introduction Meroanencephaly and holoanencephaly are terms refer to the extent of the cranial defect, however, they typically are not used in clinical descriptions and are not predictive of severity of the condition. The term acrania has been used interchangeably with anencephaly in some parts of the world but that practice is discouraged as it confuses two very different conditions.
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke P.O. Box 5801 Bethesda, MD 20824 Tel: (301)496-5751 Fax: (301)402-2186 Tel: (800)352-9424 TDD: (301)468-5981 Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 31 Center Dr Building 31, Room 2A32 MSC2425 Bethesda, MD 20892 Fax: (866)760-5947 Tel: (800)370-2943 TDD: (888)320-6942 Email: NICHDInformationResourceCenter@mail.nih.gov Internet: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/
Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc. 976 Lake Baldwin Lane Orlando, FL 32814 USA Tel: (407)895-0802 Email: email@example.com Internet: http://www.birthdefects.org
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center PO Box 8126 Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126 Tel: (301)251-4925 Fax: (301)251-4911 Tel: (888)205-2311 TDD: (888)205-3223 Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/
Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS) 112 Third Street NE Faribault, MN 55021 Tel: (507)334-4748 Fax: (507)334-4748 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: http://www.irisRemembers.com
Fetal Hope Foundation 9786 South Holland Street Littleton, CO 80127 USA Tel: (303)932-0553 Tel: (877)789-4673 Email: email@example.com Internet: http://www.fetalhope.org
Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc. 402 Jackson Street Saint Charles, MO 63301 Tel: (636)947-6164 Fax: (636)947-7486 Tel: (800)821-6819 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: http://www.nationalshare.org
For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email email@example.com
Last Updated: 8/1/2012 Copyright 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1999, 2002, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.