How can Spina Bifida be prevented ?

Recent studies have shown that one factor that increases the risk of having an NTD (Neural Tube Defect) in a  baby is low folic acid status before conception and during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Consume 400 micrograms daily of the B vitamin folic acid, beginning before pregnancy, to reduce the risk of serious birth defects of the spinal cord and brain. The most reliable way to get enough folic acid is to take a multivitamin every day and eat a healthy diet, including foods rich in folic acid, like orange juice and citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grain products and fortified breakfast cereals. Obtain early and regular prenatal medical care. Abstain from all alcoholic beverages throughout pregnancy. Do not smoke during pregnancy. Do not use any drug, even over-the-counter medications, unless recommended by a doctor who knows you are pregnant.

Get Ultrasound done as this checks fetal growth, Placental location and looks for major birth defects.

People who care will always find time and devotion.

Spinal Nerves and Their Association With Specific Parts of the Body

Thirty-one pairs of nerves exit the spinal cord through apertures in the vertebral column. These are spinal nerves. There are four key areas of the vertebral spine: the cervical spine, or neck; the thoracic spine, or chest; the lumbar spine, or lower back; and the sacrum, or tailbone. Below the sacrum, a small bone called the coccyx marks the end of the spinal column. The nerves that exit the spinal cord are named according to their corresponding region of the vertebral spine.

We will try to explain how spina bifida manifestation differ in each individual. It occurs in varying degrees of severity depending on the location and nerves involved.

Below are the parts of the body controlled by the 31 pairs of nerves leaving the spinal cord.
The list is only for guidance. The exact diagnosis could be done by a Neurophysician and a MRI of the Spinal cord.

C1 to C4: Head and neck –Intracranial Blood vessels, Eyes, Lacrimal glands, Parotid gland, Scalp Base of skull, Neck muscles and Diaphragm, Upper body muscles like deltoids and Biceps.

C5 to C8: Neck Muscles, Shoulders, Elbows, Arms, Wrists, Hands, Fingers, Esophagus, Heart, Lungs, chest

T1 to T4: Arms, Esophagus, Heart, Lungs, Chest, Larynx, Trachea.

T5 to T10: Gall Bladder, Liver, Diaphragm, Stomach, Pancreas, Spleen, Kidneys, Small Intestine, Appendix, Adrenals.

T11: Small Intestines, Colon, Uterus.

T12: Uterus, Colon, Buttocks.

L1 to L5: Large Intestine, Buttocks, Groin, Reproductive Organs, Colon, Thighs, Knees, Legs, Feet.

S1 to S5: Buttocks, Reproductive organs, Bladder, Prostrate Gland, Legs, Ankles, Feet and Toes.

Coc 1: The only nerve is the anococcygeal nerve, which serves sensory innervation of the skin in the coccygeal region.

Picture courtesy: www.apparelyzed.com