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What is Neural Tube Defect? Treatment
Neural tube defect Congenital defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord. They change the shape or function of one or more parts of the baby's body.
Birth defects can cause problems with general health, how the body develops or how the body works, and they occur during the first month of pregnancy, usually even before a woman knows that she is pregnant.
Of a baby neural tube it normally begins as a small, flat strip that turns into a tube at the end of the first month of pregnancy. If the tube does not close completely, a Neural Tube Defect may occur. This can cause serious problems for infants, including death.
How Often Does Neural Tube Defect Occur?
Neural Tube Defects occur in 3000 pregnancies each year in the United States.
various studies investigating the prevalence of NTDs in Turkey, indicated that this frequency is around 3 thousand live births. This value indicates that NTD is common in our country. According to a study conducted in university clinics this frequency;
- It is the highest in North and Eastern Anatolia (4.32 and 4.54 per thousand live births, respectively).
- It is the lowest in Western Anatolia (2.17 per thousand live births).
- In addition, hispanic (Latin, central, South American or Spanish) women are more likely to have an NTD baby than non-hispanic women.
What are NTD Types?
The two most common NTDs; spina bifida and anencephaly'Dr.
If your baby has spina bifida, the small bones of the spine do not completely close and part of the spinal cord passes through the spine. Children with spina bifida cannot act as paralyzed legs and may have problems controlling their bladder and bowel when going to the toilet.
Anencephaly is one of the most severe neural tube defects.
Anencephalyoccurs when the upper part of the neural tube forming the brain is not completely closed. The babies in this state are missing important parts of the brain, skull and scalp. Anencephaly babies usually die either after birth or shortly after birth.
Girls are 3 times more likely to have anencephaly than boys.
Taking enough folic acid in the early and before pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in your baby. Folic acid It is a vitamin B that every cell in your body needs for normal growth and development.
What Causes NTDs?
The exact cause of neural tube defects is not known. Experts believe it may be due to genetics. This means that this can be passed on through genes from parents to children.Because genes; it is part of the cells that store instructions in the way our bodies grow, look and work.
Neural tube defects may also be caused by the living environment. Everything you communicate with your environment, including where you live, where you work, the food you eat, and how you want to spend your time, affects your daily life.For your pregnancy Specific drugs, cigarette smoke, air pollution and lead Some things around you are harmful to the mother and the baby.
Are You at Risk of Having a Baby with Neural Tube Defect?
Any woman can have a baby with NTD. However, there are things that can make other women more likely to have such a baby. These are called risk factors.
If you have these risk factors, you are at high risk for neural tube defects;
- If you have a baby with NTD, your chances of having a baby in the same condition in another pregnancy are between 2-3%.
- If you or your partner or one of your family members has a Neural Tube Defect, it means that your family has a history of this disease.
Other Risk Factors for Neural Tube Defects are as follows;
- Some anti-seizure medications risk.
Do not use medication without consulting your doctor as you will not know how medications to prevent seizures will affect your pregnancy.
- Some studies show that being obese increases the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect.
- Diabetes, in general, blood glucose (sugar) levels should be above normal, so it should not normally contain sugar urine is a medical condition. This; It can damage certain organs in your body, including blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys.
- In the first 2 months of pregnancy opioid you are at risk. Opioids are highly addictive drugs. If you take any opioid-containing medication during pregnancy, it can cause serious problems for your baby such as premature birth and withdrawal of the so-called neonatal withdrawal syndrome (also called NAS).
- If your body temperature is high in the early part of your pregnancy, this also involves a risk. This could be a high fire, a very hot tub or spending too much time in the sauna. If you are pregnant, you should stay away from hot tubs and saunas, or you can limit the duration to 10 minutes.
How Can You Help Prevent Neural Tube Defects in Your Baby?
Early and before pregnancy folic acid Taking it can help prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects in your baby. If you have a pregnancy plan, you should take precautions to ensure that your body has sufficient folic acid before you become pregnant.
To help prevent the risk to your baby, you should take a vitamin supplement containing 400 mcg of folic acid each day before pregnancy. It is usually sufficient to start taking 400 mcg of folic acid daily at least 1 month before conception. Even if you do not get pregnant, you should take daily folic acid supplements.
Can You Take Folic Acid From Food?
You can also get folic acid from some foods enriched with folic acid. You should check the product labels to see how much folic acid you eat.
Some of these products;
- Breakfast Cereal
- White rice
- Green leafy vegetables like lettuce
- Peanuts (Do not consume peanuts if you are allergic.)
- Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits
- Orange juice (100% fruit juice is the best.)
Folic acid during pregnancy If you want to learn more about this, you should read this article: // www. / Pregnancy-done in-folic-acid-and-one I /
It is very difficult to get the full amount of folic acid you need from food. After eating these foods, you should also take folic acid supplementary vitamin drugs.
Can you find out if your baby has NTD before delivery?
You can have prenatal tests called screening tests to find out if your baby has a neural tube defect.
- Maternal blood screening: It is called the quad screen because it measures four substances in the mother's blood. The test is carried out between 15 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.
- Ultrasound: This test uses sound waves and the computer screen to show your baby's picture in the womb. Usually, pregnant women between 16 and 20 weeks are taken for ultrasound.
If even one of these shows the risk of neural tube defects, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic test to see if your baby has this condition.
- Your doctor will take some amniotic fluid to check if your baby has birth defects such as NTD in the womb. This test amniocentesis and can be performed in 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Detailed ultrasound of your baby's skull and spine is performed.
What is Neural Tube Defect Treatment?
Because the disease is usually caused by genetics neural tube defect treatment There is no definitive method for.
Therefore, protection from this disease is more important. If you notice that your baby has NTD during pregnancy; you should discuss this with your healthcare professional to learn more about your baby's condition, birth and treatment options.
- You can decide whether to have a normal or caesarean section. (In some cases, cesarean section may be safer for you and your baby than for normal birth.)
- If your baby has spina bifidaIn addition, you can get information about surgery in the uterus before birth.
Spina bifida repair surgery in the uterus before birth is more effective than postnatal surgery.
- Your baby NTDYou can plan to give birth to a hospital that specializes in caring for babies. In this way, your baby can be taken to any surgery or treatment required immediately after birth.
We wish you health with your baby!