Anencephaly Anencephaly is a type of neural tube defect present at birth. It affects the formation of the brain and the skull bones that surround the head. Cephalic Disorders Cephalic disorders affect the central nervous system as it develops. They may also affect the brain and the growth of the skull. Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy is a life-long condition that affects the communication between the brain and the muscles, causing a permanent state of uncoordinated movement and posturing. Chiari Malformation A Chiari malformation is a birth defect in the area of the back of the head where the brain and spinal cord connect. Craniosynostosis Craniosynostosis is a condition in which the fibrous joints between the skull’s bony plates close too early, causing problems with normal brain and skull growth. Hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus is a condition in which a buildup of fluid in the brain causes the pressure inside of the head to increase and the skull bones to expand to a larger-than-normal appearance. Microcephaly An infant with microcephaly has a head that is much smaller than normal for an infant of that age and gender. Most children with microcephaly also have a small brain and mental retardation. Spina Bifida Spina bifida can occur in the early weeks of pregnancy, before you even know you are expecting. That’s why your baby is depending on you to have healthy habits in place from the start. Learn more about the prevention and treatment of this birth defect.