Conditions + Treatments

Treatments for Anencephaly in Children

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Contact the Department of Neurology

Sadly, there is no medical treatment for anencephaly. Due to the lack of development of babies' brains, about 75 percent of infants are stillborn and the remaining 25 percent of babies die within a few hours, days or weeks after delivery. Care focuses on providing emotional support to your family. Our social workers will offer you a network of support groups with families going through similar issues.

Many families find consolation knowing their child has not been forgotten by those who cared for him or her and that there are others who share in their grief.

Also, we may recommend genetic counseling for parents to discuss the risk of recurrence in a future pregnancy as well as vitamin therapy (a prescription for folic acid) that can decrease the recurrence for ONTDs. Extra folic acid, a B vitamin, if taken one to two months prior to conception and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy, has been found to decrease the reoccurrence of ONTDs, for couples who have had a previous child with an ONTD.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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