What is Anencephaly?

Anencephaly is a severe nueral tube defect where the "cephalic" or head end of the neural tube fails to close around the 3rd and 4th weeks of pregnancy. This results in the absence of a major portion of the brain, usually the forebrain and cerebrum (the porions of the brain responsible for thinking and cognition.) The remaining brain tissue is often exposed, not covered by bone or skin. Most babies with this genetic disorder do not survive and those that do are usually blind, deaf, unconscious, and unable to feel pain.

For more information on this disorder please visit:

NINDS National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

MedlinePlus A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health


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Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy

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A Time to Decide a Time to Heal: For Parents Making Difficult Decisions About Babies They Love

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A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss

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