Microcephaly is a birth defect that causes an infant’s head to be smaller than normal. It is also known as a “small brain,” “abnormal smallness of the head,” and “cerebral microcephaly.” The word microcephaly comes from Greek words meaning “small head.” Microcephaly is a rare genetic disorder that causes a baby’s head and brain to develop smaller than normal. It happens throughout pregnancy, frequently before a woman realizes she’s pregnant. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates that up to 1% of children born each year have microcephaly, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that it could be as high as 2 to 12% of every 10,000 live births.
Types of microcephaly.
There are three main types, microcephaly: macrocephaly, megalencephaly.
Macrocephaly is a condition where the head circumference is larger than average. In human beings, a head circumference above 49 cm (19 in) has been considered macrocephalic. Macrocephaly can be proportionate or disproportionate. In general, children with proportionately large heads tend to have broader faces and shorter bodies.
Megalencephaly can be diagnosed through physical examination and prenatal ultrasound. Prenatal ultrasound is used to confirm the diagnosis, and physical examination can help detect additional features, such as facial asymmetry and other anomalies. The diagnosis of megalencephaly is usually made during childhood or adolescence because the symptoms are often present at birth.
Microcephaly is a rare genetic disorder that causes a baby’s head and brain to develop smaller than normal. It happens throughout pregnancy, frequently before a woman realizes she’s pregnant.
The cause of most cases of microcephaly isn’t known, but in some cases, it can result from infections in pregnancy or exposure to certain drugs, toxins, or chemicals. Microcephaly can also be caused by genetic disorders and malnutrition problems during pregnancy. This can lead to problems like developmental delays, intellectual disability, seizures, hearing and vision impairment, and problems with movement and balance.
Treatment of Microcephaly
Newborns with microcephaly may suffer from severe mental retardation, seizures, motor impairment, or even death. All of these complications are related to brain size, which is smaller than average for newborns. Children suffering from microcephaly can’t develop properly because their brains fail to grow and expand properly. This will get worse over time. The best way to treat children suffering from microcephaly is by getting them into an early intervention program that helps stimulate their brains. There is no cure for microcephaly, but research suggests that early intervention programs can improve the motor skills and cognitive abilities of children who have the condition.
What are the symptoms of microcephaly?
The majority of cases are mild and go unnoticed, but some have more severe symptoms. In these cases, the baby has an abnormally small head that can lead to developmental delays and other serious health problems. The symptoms of microcephaly vary, but some are common for babies born with the condition. Babies with microcephaly have smaller than normal heads that are long about their body length. They often have small jaws and underdeveloped brain parenchyma.
Prevention of Microcephaly
The Zika virus, which has been linked to a birth defect known as microcephaly and other brain abnormalities in babies, is spreading rapidly throughout the Americas. The researchers believe that there are several key steps to take to prevent microcephaly. The first step is to implement proper vector-control measures, such as eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed and sleeping under mosquito nets.
Microcephaly is a rare genetic disorder that causes a baby’s head and brain to develop smaller than normal. It happens throughout pregnancy, frequently before a woman realizes she’s pregnant. In most cases, microcephaly isn’t life-threatening and doesn’t cause any lasting impairment in babies born with the condition. But in some instances, it can be deadly or have serious complications for the child later in life.
For many parents, this news comes as an unexpected shock. Understandably, the mental images of their child living with this condition can be hard to accept. However, when parents receive the right support and treatment for microcephaly, there is no limit to what their children can achieve in life.