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Spina Bifida Essay Sample Ireland

This essay is on “Spina Bifida” which highlights the subject in detail. It helps the readers to understand what “Spina Bifida” is. In this context, it is relevant to add that “Spina Bifida” is a birth defect. It occurs because of the improper and incomplete closure of the spinal cord and the membranes associated with the spinal cord during pregnancy.

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This essay also discusses the various symptoms, and complications that are associated with this medical condition. The essay also discusses the causes, risk factors, and diagnostic methods that are associated with this medical condition.

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina Bifida is a birth defect and it happens when there is incomplete closure of the spines as well as the spinal cord membranes during pregnancy. This type of condition is treated with the help of qualified professionals in neurosurgery, pediatrics, and rehabilitation medicine.

Types of Spina Bifida

There are three types of Spina Bifida and they are as follows:-

  • Meningocele
  • Spina Bifida Occulta
  • Myelomeningocele

In this context, it is relevant to say that Meningocele and Myelomeningocele can be grouped to form the Spina Bifida cystic.

Symptoms and Complications

Concerning the medical condition “Spina Bifida” it is important to say that its location is in the lower back. There are instances when the location is in the neck or the middle back.


This medical condition has mild signs. The common symptoms of Occulta include the presence of a dark spot, dimple, hairy patch, and swelling at the back (where there is a gap in the spine).


This medical condition also causes mild issues. Kids suffering from this condition have a fluid sac at the gap in the spinal cord.


This medical condition is also referred to as the open spina bifida. The patients suffering from this type of spina bifida are characterized by impaired bladder control, impaired bowel control, poor ability to exercise or walk, accumulation of fluids within the brain, latex allergy, and a tethered spinal cord. For patients suffering from myelomeningocele, learning issues are quite common.

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Other symptoms of patients with spina bifida

Overall patients suffering from the medical condition spina bifida are known to display the following symptoms:-

Physical issues

Paralysis, weakness in the limbs, various orthopedic abnormalities, bowel control issues, bladder control issues, incontinence, poor functions of the kidney, infections in the urinary tract are common physical issues, skin irritations, pressure sores, abnormal movement of the eye in persons suffering from spina bifida.

Neurological issues

Many sufferings from the medical condition spina bifida have issues with the cerebellum. In some instances, the corpus callosum is not developed properly which adversely affects the communication processes of the patient. Often cortex abnormalities are also present.

Executive functions

Patients with spina bifida can suffer from memory issues, they fail to plan, organize and initiate, solve problems. The occurrence of spina bifida impairs their executive functions.

Academic skills

Individuals who are suffering from the medical condition known as spina bifida are known to struggle in academics. They struggle with subjects like reading and mathematics.

What are the causes of Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a medical condition that is characterized by the improper and incomplete closure of the spinal cord as also the membranes that are associated with the spinal cord during times of pregnancy. It is understood that such types of medical conditions are a result of environmental and genetic factors.

If one of the parents has the condition then there are even chances that the offspring can have the condition. Yet another cause for this condition is the absence of folate or Vitamin B9 in the diet before pregnancy or during pregnancy. Other causes of the condition include intake of anti-seizure medicines, poorly regulated diabetes, and obesity.


This section of the essay on Spina Bifida discusses how a diagnosis of this medical condition is done. Diagnosis of the medical condition can take place either before childbirth or after childbirth. If Amniocentesis or a blood test detects a high level of AFP or alpha-fetoprotein then the risk of spina bifida occurrence is high.

Yet another method to detect the issue is by doing an ultrasound examination. Medical imaging is also a sure shot way to confirm the diagnosis post-birth. In this context, it is relevant to add that the condition spina bifida is a neural tube defect associated with but separate from other types like encephalocele and anencephaly.

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How to prevent spina bifida from occurring?

A medical condition like spina bifida can be prevented from occurring in kids if the mothers get enough dosage of folate before or after their pregnancy. Folic acid is best administered by adding it to flour.

Even if the kids are born with a medical condition (open spina bifida) then it can be closed surgically before or after the birth. Those who have hydrocephalus require a shunt and those with tethered spinal cords can get repaired using appropriate surgical procedures.

If spina bifida has rendered patients immobile then by the use of devices like a wheelchair, or crutches the patients can move from one place to another. Patients who are bedridden or rendered immobile may also require urinary catheterization.

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