Microcephaly – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments In this article, you will get all your doubts about this disease. In addition, microcephaly is a disease in which the head and brain of children are smaller than normal for their age, which impairs their mental development, because the bones of the head, which at birth are separated, become very tight. early, preventing the brain from growing.
The child with microcephaly may need lifelong care, but this is usually confirmed after the first year of life and will depend largely on how much the brain has managed to develop and which parts of the brain are most affected. See details about what the child’s life is like.
What is Microcephaly?
Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which the child’s head and brain are significantly smaller than those of the same age and gender. The microcephaly is usually diagnosed early in life and is the result of the brain not grow enough during pregnancy or after birth.
Causes of Microcephaly:
Microcephaly is the result of the subnormal growth of the child’s brain in the womb or childhood. The microcephaly may be genetic. Some other causes are:
Central nervous system malformations;
Decreased oxygen to the fetal brain;
Some complications in pregnancy or childbirth may decrease oxygenation to the baby’s brain;
Exposure to drugs, alcohol and certain chemicals in pregnancy ;
Severe malnutrition in pregnancy;
Congenital rubella in pregnancy ;
Congenital toxoplasmosis in pregnancy ;
Congenital cytomegalovirus infection.
Genetic diseases that cause microcephaly can be:
Cornelia de Lange Syndrome;
Cri du chat syndrome;
Smith-Lemli – Opitz Syndrome;
The microcephaly is usually detected in the first examination after birth in a regular check-up. However, if you suspect that your baby’s head is smaller than that of others the same age or not growing as it should, talk to your doctor.
The main symptom is the reduced size of the head, which hinders brain development . This can cause several other consequences such as:
Intellectual deficit: In cases where the condition is primary, intellectual reduction is not common, but these represent only 10% of cases of microcephaly . The other 90% have severe intellectual deficit due to reduced brain size.
Muscle Spasms : Muscle spasms are common in microcephaly patients . This symptom is one that raises suspicion acquired or a mild version of congenital, since in these cases the baby does not show large change in skull size and the disease may go unnoticed.
Motor problems: Difficulty balancing, walking, keeping your head up, picking up things, and other motor problems may be present in patients as a result of reduced brain size and intracranial pressure.
Microcephaly treatment does not cure the disease, but it helps to reduce the consequences on the child’s mental development. One of the possible treatments is to have surgery to slightly separate the bones of the skull in the first 2 months of life, to avoid compression of the brain that prevents its growth.
When in addition to microcephaly the child has hydrocephalus, which is the presence of fluid within the brain , there is also the possibility of placing a drain to control this fluid. Understand what hydrocephalus is.
In addition, it may be necessary to use medications that help the child’s daily life, which work by reducing muscle spasms and improving muscle tension. Physical therapy is indicated and can help in physical and mental development and so the more stimulation within the physical therapy the child has, the better the results.
In addition, botox injections into certain arm or leg muscles can be helpful in decreasing involuntary muscle contraction and improving daily baby care and even physical therapy sessions. Understand how botox works and why it is indicated here.