The microcephaly is a condition in which the amount of the baby’s head is much smaller than expected. During pregnancy, the head grows as brain itself increases its size and thus expand the skull. The microcephaly may occur as the brain or the baby does not develop properly during fetal development or stopped growing after birth. This leads to a smaller head size. Microcephaly may be isolated or accompanied by other congenital anomalies. Typically, the condition is accompanied by seizures, underdevelopment (eg, speech problems, delays in sitting, standing and walking), mental disorders (difficulty learning, problems in communicating with people and everyday life), problems with movement and keeping balance, feeding problems (such as difficulty in swallowing), hearing loss or loss thereof and vision problems.
These disorders can be from mild to severe and generally last a lifetime. In severe forms of microcephaly it can be life-threatening. Due to the difficult forecast infants should be closely monitored for growth and development.
What is the frequency of microcephaly?
The microcephaly is not a common condition. Usually it occurs in 2 to 10,000 cases.
What are the causes and risk factors of microcephaly?
In most cases, the etiology remains unclear. In some cases the genetic defect. In other presumed action of a number of damaging factors during pregnancy infections (rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus), severe malnutrition, toxic damage under the influence of alcohol, drugs, toxic substances and blood. Cases of microcephaly have been reported in babies born to mothers infected with the virus music cast during pregnancy. Scientifically proven link between microcephaly and infection with the virus of music cast. Still doing research on how it can be prevented and what are the long-term forecasts.
How is it diagnosed?
Mikrotsefaliyata can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after birth:
During pregnancy. This is done by ultrasound. It should be done in late second or early third trimester.
After birth. Performed by measuring the circumference of the head, then the result is compared with the average for the population based on gender and age. The measurement should be performed no sooner than 24 hours after birth. This time is necessary to head to recover from compression that occurs in the birth canal during delivery.
If suspected microcephaly is necessary to make certain imaging studies such as computed tomography (scanner) or magnetic resonance imaging. Through them are disclosed structural features of the brain and can be detected whether the child has a congenital infection or is present another problem.
Is there a treatment?
The microcephaly is a condition that lasts for a lifetime. Is not no cure or treatment approach for definitive treatment the state. As microcephaly can be from mild to severe pronounced therapeutic measures also differ.
In children with mild microcephaly only need periodic monitoring of growth and development. They usually have no serious complaints except for the smaller size of the head.
In more severe forms proceed to symptomatic treatment of associated complications. It recommended early integration so that children develop the utmost potential. They are useful speech exercises, physiotherapy, occupational therapy.