Neural tube defects - symptoms and how to test
The early brain and spine are both formed from the neural tube. When the neural tube does not close correctly, neural tube defects develop. These abnormalities appear early in pregnancy, often before the expecting mother is even aware of her pregnancy. A baby conceived by a woman with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is more likely to be born with a neural tube defect than is the baby of a woman without diabetes. An uncovered NTD can be detected with a blood test for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP).