Varieties of Dysraphic Condition – Neurulation

by John McLachlan, PhD

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    00:01 spinal cord within these bony structures, subsequently. Of course this process may not work perfectly and we can imagine a variety of conditions where the neural tube, either does not fuse at all or does not fuse in the right arrangements. This condition, generally, is called spina bifida and it takes place down the length of the spinal cord.

    00:18 And we can see various varieties represented in this diagram. So a fully open neural tube, the rachischisis, as shown in image A and this would cause serious inhibition of the function of the neural tube and spinal cord in the baby and subsequent adult. Of course you might have a very minor form, as shown in B, spina bifida occulta. What’s happened here is that the spinal cord is formed perfectly correctly, but the vertebrae have not quite closed over the top of it. So as a consequence, the spinal cord down towards the tail end of the body is lying in a kind of open trough, as it were, not completely covered over by vertebral bodies at the top part. This does not cause any necessary difficulty or disability because the spinal cord is intact and it’s probably present in a small percentage of adults who may not even be aware that they have this condition. However, one of the markers is that you sometimes have a little patch of hair just above where the open part of the vertebrae is, and that can serve as a marker for this, otherwise, almost completely harmless variant. More serious are the version shown in C and D, meningocele and myelomeningocele. You can see, this relates to the different position of the spinal cord within the inadequately represented closing of the membranes roundabout the spinal cord, and these can cause significant problems.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Varieties of Dysraphic Condition – Neurulation by John McLachlan, PhD is from the course Embryology: Early Stages with John McLachlan.

    Author of lecture Varieties of Dysraphic Condition – Neurulation

     John McLachlan, PhD

    John McLachlan, PhD

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