The prenatal development of the CNS can be disturbed by a number of genetic (inherited) and nongenetic (congenital) factors. However, the etiologic classification of the various malformations remains uncertain in many cases, both in terms of the primary cause and the timing of the insult. Adams and Victor [3] suggest classifying malformations according to possible causative factors:
  • Malformations caused by the mutation of a single gene

  • Malformations in which a hereditary disposition coincides with nongenetic and usually indeterminate factors

  • Malformations associated with chromosomal abnormalities

  • Malformations due entirely to exogenous factors (virus, other infectious agents, X-irradiation, toxins)

  • Malformations of undetermined cause (60% of cases)


Corpus Callosum Spina Bifida Fourth Ventricle Tuberous Sclerosis Neural Tube Defect 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

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  • W. J. Huk

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