Taking a Look at Spina Bifida

Decent Essays

Scientists have found that spina bifida has been in existence for thousands of years. In the mid-1600s Nicolaas Tulp, a Dutch anatomist, first described the disease in detail and gave it the name spina bifida. He described this disease, along with over 200 others, in his book Observations Medicae. Later in 1761, Giovanni Battista Morgangni contributed to the knowledge of spina bifida when he described hydrocephalus and its association with spina bifida. German doctors Rudolf Verchow and Hans Chiari helped contribute to spina bifida research. Verchow came up with the name spina bifida occulta in 1875. In 1891, Chiari described a condition where the cerebellum sticks out into the upper part of the spinal column, and it was named Chiari type II malformations (Watson, 2009). Spina bifida is a neural tube birth defect that affects about 3,000 babies in the U.S. every year. Spina bifida comes from Latin terms that mean split spine. The disease occurs early in pregnancy while the baby is in the womb when the neural tube does not develop correctly (Lutkenhoff, 1999). Because the neural tube eventually becomes the nervous system and the spine, spina bifida affects the nervous system. It also indirectly affects many systems of the body because your nerves control everything your body does (Spina Bifida: The Facts, 2014).
Although the exact causes are not known for sure, scientists believe there are both genetic and environmental factors that cause spina bifida. The fetus could have

Get Access