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Anencephaly is a defect in the closure of the neural tube during fetal development, during which time there should be a closure to form the brain and spinal cord of the embryo. It results in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Newborns with this disorder are born without a forebrain and a cerebrum. While the cause is unknown, it is thought that a mother's diet and vitamin intake may play a role, especially folic acid.