Birth defects

Neural tube defect (NTD)

Neural tube defect refers to abnormal foetal development where the foetal neural tube fails to close completely. Babies with a serious neural tube defect are either stillborn or die shortly after birth.
 
The risk of neural tube defects depends on genetic and environmental factors, including certain pharmaceuticals and a diet poor in nutrients. Taking folic acid supplements in early pregnancy has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of disorders in the closing of the foetal neural tube.