In early development, the brain and spinal cord start as a tube-like structure called the ‘neural tube’ that is open at either end. These openings close within the first weeks of pregnancy, and the neural tube continues to grow and fold, eventually forming the brain and spinal cord.
If the tube fails to close properly, this results in a group of problems called ‘neural tube defects’. Spinal dysphraism is the term used to describe what happens when the spinal column (backbone) fails to form properly.
More information for parents and visitors on closed spinal dysraphism