Spina Bifida Research
Although spina bifida has received much attention over the last decades, and had recently benefited from a multi-million study that raised the hopes of parents of babies suffering from this condition, no major new treatments seem to have been developed. Pre-natal surgeries have become safer than they used to be though, and now they are a treatment option worth considering.
Excellent Video on Advances in Spina Bifida Research
In China and Mexico medical institutions are offering experimental stem cell therapies for the condition, but not only are these extremely expensive, but also apparently not consistent in their results. Not many parents have the money and the courage to go abroad to give their little ones a treatment that cannot guarantee clear results.
There is actually much research in the US on spina bifida, mostly revolving around genetics, which aims to detect the genetic factors that make some children more suspectible to the condition than others. There is also research on brain development, which seeks to better understand the condition and thus to prevent it and treat it more effectively.
Brain development studies are focused on identifying how the brain and nervous system develop for those suffering from spina bifida. This could lead to a better understanding of the causes of neural tube defects and their most effective treatments, as well as to ways of preventing the condition. These studies are ambitious and they might help prevent and treat not only spina bifida, but also other birth defects and disorders of the spinal column. Genetics
The genetics research studies gene expression during the process of neural tube closure. Spina bifida is characterized by neral tube defects, and researchers hope that by finding why some children are more suspectible than others to the condition will help them understand what exactly causes the birth defect.
Genetic risk factors are also studied, in particular those that alter the function of the folic acid in the mother during pregnancy, in the hope that better folic acid supplements can be created, thus preventing spina bifida.
Where to Look
Websites to keep an eye on to find out more about the latest research carried out in the US on spina bifida and other similar conditions of the spinal column are the Spina Bifida Association, The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Management of Myelomeningocele Study, and Spina Bifida Biography.
Much research is being done at the moment, and the future looks promising for parents of babies suffering from spina bifida.