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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Other Names for this Disease
  • Absence of a large part of the brain and the skull
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Can anencephaly be inherited?

Ninety percent of open neural tube defects happen to couples without a prior family history of these defects.[1] While most neural tube defects (NTDs) are caused by a complex interaction between various genes and environmental factors, rare cases of NTDs are transmitted in an autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive manner in certain families.[2][3] Such families may have children or fetuses with spina bifida, anencephaly, or other subtypes of NTDs.[3]
Last updated: 10/18/2013

  1. Anencephaly. Children's Hospital Boston. 2010; Accessed 11/28/2011.
  2. Anencephaly. Orphanet. 2006; Accessed 11/28/2011.
  3. Best RG, Gregg AR, Lorenzo N. Anencephaly. eMedicine. 2010; Accessed 11/28/2011.