MICROCEPHALY

Description

Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which an infant’s head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children

Symptoms

  • Smaller than average head size
  • Backward-sloping forehead
  • Impaired cognitive development
  • Delayed motor functions and speech
  • Facial distortions
  • Dwarfism
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty with coordination and balance
  • Neurological abnormalities

Causes

  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Decreased oxygen to the fetal brain (cerebral anoxia)
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Uncontrolled phenylketonuria in the mother
  • Infections of the fetus during pregnancy which include:
  • German measles (rubella)
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Chickenpox (varicella)
  • Toxoplasmosis

Risk Factors

  • Exposure to drugs, toxins
  • Environmental factors
  • Infection by viruses

Diagnostic Tests

  • A physical exam, including head circumference evaluation
  • Prenatal examination
  • Birth examination
  • Taking a family history and evaluating the parents’ head sizes
  • Charting head growth over time
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan
  • MRI Scan

Treatment

  • Surgery
  • Therapies which include:
  • Physical
  • Speech
  • Occupational

Lifestyle Management

  • Find a team of trusted professionals
  • During pregnancy avoid consumption of:
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Toxins