n. partial or complete absence of the bones of the rear of the skull, the meninges, and the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. It occurs as a developmental defect, and most affected infants are stillborn; if born live they do not survive for more than a few hours. Anencephaly is often associated with other defects of the nervous system, such as spina bifida. Prenatal screening tests for anencephaly include detection of alpha-fetoprotein levels and ultrasound scanning.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.