Anencephaly is a neural tube defect considered incompatible with life. It occurs when the head end of the neural tube fails to close around the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy. This results in the absence of major portions of the brain, usually the frontal lobe and cerebrum (the portions 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 who do are usually blind, deaf, unconscious, and unable to feel pain.
For more information on anencephaly, visit:
- NINDS – Anencephaly National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- MedlinePlus – Anencephaly A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health