Neural Tube Defects (NTDs)

NTDs occur when the spinal cord, brain, and related structures do not form properly. NTDs are called birth defects because they are present at birth. They usually occur very early in pregnancy—usually during the first month—and can cause serious problems after birth.

Since NICHD was founded, one of its main focuses has been understanding the causes, treatment, and prevention of birth defects like NTDs.

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