National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Anencephaly is not the name you expected.
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.
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.
Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc.
- 976 Lake Baldwin Lane
- Orlando, FL 32814
- Tel: (407)895-0802
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.birthdefects.org
Fetal Hope Foundation
- 9786 South Holland Street
- Littleton, CO 80127
- Tel: (303)932-0553
- Tel: (877)789-4673
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: http://www.fetalhope.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
- Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/
Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS)
- 218 Third Ave. NW
- Faribault, MN 55021
- Tel: (507)334-4748
- Fax: (507)334-4748
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.irisRemembers.com
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- 31 Center Dr
- Building 31, Room 2A32
- Bethesda, MD 20892
- Fax: (866)760-5947
- Tel: (800)370-2943
- Email: NICHDInformationResourceCenter@mail.nih.gov
- Website: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/
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
- Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
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: email@example.com
- Website: http://www.nationalshare.org
For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, 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.
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.
Last Updated: 8/1/2012
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