Birth defects affect the body’s ability to function properly; there are hundreds of different types of inherited conditions and birth defects, which all affect the body in a different way. There are two main types of birth defect; these include structural birth defects, which are caused by problems with the structure of the organs or body parts and functional defects (also known as developmental defects), which affect the function of the body parts or systems.
There are four main forms of birth defect; these are:
- Metabolic disorders
- Defects which affect the brain and nervous system
- Sensory defects
- Degenerative disorders
What are degenerative disorders?
Degenerative disorders are conditions which affect a certain part of the body or bodily system and gradually cause them to deteriorate. Degenerative disorders are often hard to diagnose initially because babies seem to be completely normal, but they do make health deteriorate over time and symptoms may become more severe.
Examples of degenerative disorders
Common examples of degenerative disorders include:
- Rett syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy
Effects of degenerative disorders
There are many different types of degenerative disorder and they may have different effects on the body. Often, birth defects which contribute to degenerative disorders can cause problems with the senses, delayed development, learning disabilities, mental health problems and physiological problems.
Treating degenerative disorders
Treatment for degenerative disorders varies according to the individual; some people have much more severe symptoms than others and their condition can deteriorate very quickly. Medical care should always be a priority and this will be incorporated in the treatment pathway as soon as the patient is diagnosed with a degenerative disorder. Additional problems, such as a lack of mobility or strength and problems with hearing, speech or eyesight will be treated using a variety of different medications and therapies; for example, physiotherapy can be used to increase movement and muscle strength, while speech therapy can be used to improve communication skills; hearing and visual problems can also be treated by the relevant specialists. Over time, the demands of an individual with a degenerative disorder will increase, as their condition becomes more advanced; in many cases, the individual will become more susceptible to general illnesses and infections and they may find communicating and moving around increasingly difficult.
Degenerative Disorders Birth Defects Problems
Birth Defects Guide
- Birth Defects
- Brain and Nervous System Birth Defects
- Sensory Birth Defects
- Metabolic Disorders
- Degenerative Disorders