Type of disease: Rare conditions

Iniencephaly is a birth defect related to spina bifida, but with more severe consequences. The defect results in extreme backward bending of the head and distortion of the spine. Infants will have a highly shortened neck or no neck at all, along with a number of other symptoms. Iniencephalic infants typically do not live longer than a few hours. Diagnosis can be made during pregnancy or directly after birth. The defect has no known cause or cure, but disproportionately affects females.

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