Anencephaly - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD
Last Updated on May 14, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult for avoiding anencephaly?

During pregnancy you should always be in touch with your gynaecologist, who will carry out the necessary tests in consultation with a medical geneticist and advise you accordingly.

2. Is it possible for a baby with anencephaly to live?

No. The genetic defects are so severe that it cannot sustain life.

3. Is it possible to treat anencephaly?

No. The baby is usually stillborn. If it happens to be alive at birth, it is beyond any form of treatment. Only supportive care can be given during the remaining hours of life.

4. Is an anencephalic baby capable of feeling pain?

No.

5. Is anencephaly an inheritable condition?

Usually not. Most cases of anencephaly are sporadic, i.e., they occur in babies with no previous family history of anencephaly or other neural tube defects (NTDs). In certain populations it can be inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, for example in Iranian Jews, who have high rates of consanguinity (mating with family members).

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