What are the Causes and Symptoms of Microcephaly?

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Microcephaly is a neurological disorder in which the circumference of the baby’s head is significantly smaller than average for the persons age and sex.

Cause of Microcephaly

Microcephaly may be congenital or it may develop in the first few years of life. The disorder can stem from a wide variety of conditions that cause abnormal growth of the brain, or from syndromes associated with chromosomal abnormalities.

Symptoms of Microcephaly

Babies with microcephaly are born with either a normal or reduced head size.
Subsequently the head fails to grow while the face continues to develop at a normal rate, producing a child with a small head and a receding forehead, and a loose, often wrinkled scalp.

As the child grows older, the smallness of the skull becomes more obvious, although the entire body also is often underweight and dwarfed. Development of motor functions and speech may be delayed.

Hyperactivity and mental retardation are common occurrences, although the degree of each varies. Convulsions may also occur. There may also be problems with the child’s motor ability.

Treatment of Microcephaly

Generally there is no specific treatment for microcephaly. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive.