What Are Some Causes of Spina Bifida?

While doctors do not know the exact causes of spina bifida as of 2015, they suspect that a combination of genetic and environmental factors lead to the condition, states Mayo Clinic. Having a family history of neural tube defects along with folic acid deficiency is one of those combinations.

Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the neural tube that develops into a baby's brain, spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them does not grow or close properly, notes Mayo Clinic. Whites and Hispanics are at higher risk than other races of being born with spina bifida, as are girls and those whose mothers are obese, diabetic or do not get enough folic acid during their pregnancies.