Spina bifida is the most common birth defect of the central nervous system, in which the vertebral column and spine fail to develop properly while the baby is still forming in the womb. Four out of every 1000 children born in India have Spina bifida; though this condition can lead to serious debility, still there is a lot of prevailing unawareness about it. It is a complex condition with varying degrees of severity, and depending on the severity of disease, the symptoms and treatment options vary. However, irrespective of its type it can significantly impact the lives of those it affects.
Symptoms of Spina bifida
Spina bifida occurs in early pregnancy when the neural tube, a structure that eventually forms the brain and spinal cord, fails to close properly. As a result of this the spinal cord and nerves get exposed and affected leading to a range of physical and neurological complications in the affected individual. Though the symptoms of Spina bifida can vary greatly, some common symptoms include, mobility issues such as paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder dysfunction, hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, orthopedic problems such as scoliosis and foot deformities. With a wide range of symptoms affecting daily life, individuals affected with spina bifida and their families and caregivers, face many day-to-day challenges.