Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spina Bifida - Myelodysplasia

I worked with Lou Bartoshesky from 1980 to the middle of 1985. The research we were doing was on Spina Bifida (Myelodysplasia).

(Spina Bifida)


Etymology: Gk, myelos + dys, bad, plassis, formation
1 a general designation for the defective development of any part of the spinal cord. The term is used primarily to describe abnormalities without gross superficial defects, especially of the lower segment, specifically spina bifida occulta.
2 dysplasia of the myelocytes and other elements in bone marrow.

Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

I can say numerous things about Myelodysplasia. However, all of us have a degree of it. Let me explain it this way. In the first trimester, the spinal cord is being formed. As you know, many organs or the human structure can develop abnormally. The infants that I researched had to have surgery within the first 24 hours. A Neuro-Surgeon has to insert a shunt in the brain. In addition to the shunt, the Neuro-Surgeon has to very precise to cover the exposed nerves of the spinal cord, for example, to the L3 (lumbar region in the back).

I enjoyed my research with Lou. As always, you do have to expension tension among the persons in the research team! It was tedious work. It comes with the territory for a Pediatric Birth Defects MD and Geneticist.

You see many families in a week, a month, and in a year. Families have a difficult time accepting an infant with a disability. They get angry with each other, and with their new member of their family.
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