A large group of disorders arising during development that cause abnormality of the human body. Most are due to genetic factors such as inherited or spontaneous mutations, whereas others are caused by environmental influences during pregnancy such as exposure to harmful chemicals. The most severe and lethal disorders arise during the first 28 days of development and include gross brain anomalies and heart defects. The mildest malformations occur in the late stages of development and are often the result of dominant inheritance, whereas complex congenital syndromes are often the result of recessive inheritance. Seealso birth defect; Down syndrome.
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Amelia (from Greek α = "none" plus μέλος (plural μέλεα) = "limb") is the birth defect of lacking one or more limbs. It can also result in a shrunken or deformed limb. For example, a child might be born without an elbow or forearm.