Anencephaly (pronounced an-en-cef-a-lee)

Anencephaly occurs when the cephalic, or head, end of the neural tube fails to close properly, resulting in the absence of the major portion of the brain (cerebellum), skull, and scalp.

A rudimentary brain stem is often formed, infants may be able to breathe or respond to touch or sound.

The infant can be blind, deaf, have few if any reflexes, and are unable to feel pain. 

The infant’s facial features will be complete but the remaining brain tissue is often exposed, i.e. not covered by bone or skin; the opening in the skull will vary in size from infant to infant. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for anencephaly and the condition is not compatible with life.

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