Anencephaly Definition, Causes & More

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By lio
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Facts about Anencephaly.' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/anencephaly.html.
  • 2. 'Facts about Anencephaly.' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/anencephaly.html.
  • 3. 'Anencephaly: MedlinePlus Genetics.' MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Aug. 2020. medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/anencephaly/#synonyms.
  • 4. 'Anencephaly.' Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment for Newborns | St. Louis Childrens Hospital, www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/anencephaly.
  • 5. 'Anencephaly: Neural Tube Defect, Birth Defect, Causes, Prevention.' Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15032-anencephaly.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Anencephaly is a rare and serious birth defect where a baby is born without part of the brain and skull. Most often, the cerebellum and front of the brain do not form.1‘Facts about Anencephaly.’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/anencephaly.html.

This condition is fatal. Most babies born with anencephaly die in the first few hours of life, with few babies surviving to a week old. Anencephaly can be devastating for parents and family, and having a better understanding of the condition, what causes it and how it’s diagnosed can help loved ones prepare and support one another.2‘Facts about Anencephaly.’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/anencephaly.html.

1. Symptoms of Anencephaly

The head of a baby born with anencephaly will often have a different shape than in a typical infant. The babies will often be missing bones in the back or sides of their heads, and their ears may be folded. Portions of the brain will often be missing. They may be smaller than a typical baby.

Many babies born with anencephaly also have heart defects.4‘Anencephaly.’ Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment for Newborns | St. Louis Childrens Hospital, www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/anencephaly. Many babies with anencephaly are stillborn or die before they can be born. If a baby is alive at birth, they will usually die very quickly.1‘Facts about Anencephaly.’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/anencephaly.html.

Anencephaly

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