Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Elena Harlan Drewel
  • Kathleen K. M. DeidrickEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1571


Spina bifida

Short Description or Definition

Myelomeningocele (MMC) is a neural tube defect causing an open lesion in the spinal cord and vertebrae from which the meninges and spinal nerves protrude (Law and Davis 2007). It can cause paraplegia, sensory deficits in the lower extremities, and neurogenic bowel and bladder. Most persons with MMC have malformations of the cerebral cortex.


MMC is one of several types of neural tube defects, including anencephaly, spina bifida occulta, closed neural tube defects, and meningocele (Mitchell 2005).


Prevalence rates for myelomeningocele without anencephaly in the USA of 3.72 per 10,000 live births were recently reported (Parker et al. 2010), with higher rates for Hispanic and White mothers and lower rates for Black mothers (Agopian et al. 2011). Multiple factors increase risk for MMC, including genetics, maternal folic acid intake, maternal prepregnancy diabetes, maternal obesity, exposure to anticonvulsants...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Harlan Drewel
    • 1
  • Kathleen K. M. Deidrick
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Neuro- and Behavioral PsychologySt. Luke’s Children’s HospitalBoiseUSA