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Spina Bifida

Spina bifida, Latin for “split spine,” constitutes a group of disorders that fall under the umbrella term of neural tube defects (NTDs). Neural tube defects arise when there is a disruption in the structural development or closure of the neural tube in the embryological stage. The neural tube begins as a specialized group of cells along the back of the human embryo, known as a neural plate. As development proceeds, the edges of the neural plate curl upwards to form the neural tube, which subsequently develops to form the brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them. In normal circumstances, the neural tube closes by the 28th day of pregnancy, representing completion of early development of the central nervous system. This entry introduces ...

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