Quick Answer: What Is Microcephaly Caused By?

Can a child with microcephaly be normal?

Some children with microcephaly are both with normal intelligence and have normal developmental milestones, but their heads will always be smaller than normal children for their age and sex.

Microcephaly in children is a rare and genetic condition..

What causes microcephaly after birth?

Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size.

How do you diagnose microcephaly?

Microcephaly may be diagnosed before birth by prenatal ultrasound. This imaging test uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to make images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Ultrasounds let healthcare providers see the internal organs as they function. They also show blood flow through blood vessels.

Is it bad if my baby has a small head?

If your baby’s head is measuring small or is not growing: Your baby’s doctor may be concerned about failure to thrive (when a child doesn’t take in enough calories or is unable to utilize them and doesn’t grow properly as a result).

Is microcephaly reversible?

A condition called craniosynostosis can cause microcephaly. In cases of craniosynostosis, the joints between the bones of an infant skull fuse together prematurely, preventing the brain from growing fully. However, this condition is typically reversible with surgery that helps reshape the skull.

What percentile is considered microcephaly?

Microcephaly is defined as a head circumference 2 standard deviations (SDs) below the mean for age and sex or roughly less than the 2nd percentile. Conversely, macrocephaly is defined as a head circumference greater than 2 SDs above the mean or greater than the 98th percentile.

Should I worry about my baby’s head circumference?

Another measure of infant growth is head circumference, or the size of your baby’s head. It’s important because it can indicate how well their brain is growing. If your baby’s brain isn’t growing properly, they may have a condition known as microcephaly.

How long do babies with microcephaly live?

There is no standard life expectancy for microcephalic babies because outcomes depend on so many factors, and the severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. Babies with mild microcephaly may still meet the same milestones like speaking, sitting and walking as a child without the disorder.

At what age is microcephaly diagnosed?

Diagnosis. Early diagnosis of microcephaly can sometimes be made by fetal ultrasound. Ultrasounds have the best diagnosis possibility if they are made at the end of the second trimester, around 28 weeks, or in the third trimester of pregnancy. Often diagnosis is made at birth or at a later stage.

Does a small head always mean microcephaly?

Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected, compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with mild microcephaly often don’t have problems other than small head size.

How is microcephaly detected?

Microcephaly may be diagnosed during pregnancy with ultrasound. Microcephaly is most easily diagnosed by ultrasound late in the second trimester or early in the third trimester of pregnancy.

How can you prevent microcephaly?

While you’re pregnant, you can take steps to try to prevent acquired microcephaly:Eat a healthy diet and take prenatal vitamins.Don’t drink alcohol or do drugs.Stay away from chemicals.Wash your hands often, and get treated for any illness as soon as you feel sick.Have someone else change the litter box.More items…•

Does microcephaly run in families?

In some cases, microcephaly may be caused by inheriting an abnormal gene. Microcephaly is an autosomal recessive gene disorder. Autosomal means that boys and girls are equally affected. Recessive means that 2 copies of the gene, 1 from each parent, are needed to have the condition.

Can microcephaly be misdiagnosed?

Recently, microcephaly has usually been misdiagnosed only by ultrasound via measurement of head circumfer- ence (HC). Different literatures use different standards for diagnosis of microcephaly with head circumference.

Can Macrocephaly be cured?

The treatment for macrocephaly will vary depending on the underlying cause. An infant with benign familial macrocephaly will not usually require any treatment. Infants whose macrocephaly stems from a genetic condition may require life-long treatment and support, including: occupational therapy.

Do pinheads exist today?

Occasional cases develop normal intelligence and grow normally (apart from persistently small head circumference). It is reported that in the United States, microcephaly occurs in 2 to 12 babies per 10,000 births.