Alayna Miranda B4

What is it?

Anencephaly is a condition in where the neural tube doesn't properly develop and close between the 5th and 7th week. The brain and/or skull don't develop or close. Babies with this condition are often stillborn or die within hours to days after birth. There are cases where the baby does survive.

Symptoms and Effects


  • Improperly formed head seen on ultrasound or when born
  • Brain isn't fully developed


  • Death
  • Delayed milestones or not reached
  • Based on how severe, may not feel pain or touch
  • May be blind and/or deaf
  • May be in vegetative state
  • May not respond
  • May not cry or react to light, sound, or touch

How does it occurs and can it be prevented?

  • 1 in 1,000 pregnancies
  • Unknown cause
  • May be genetic defect
  • May be caused by teratogen
  • May be caused by lack of folic acid
  • Higher rate in Hispanics

Due to lack of known cause, there is no way to prevent it.

How is it detected and treated?

During pregnancy, it's detected when viewing an ultrasound. it may also be detected in a blood screening.

If not detected during pregnancy, it's very obvious if the newborn has it when looked at.

There is no treatment for anencephaly due to the fact that parts of the brain and skull are missing.