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Microcephaly : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

 What is Microcephaly?

Microcephaly could be a condition wherever a baby' head is far smaller than traditional. it's most frequently a gift at birth (congenital). Most kids with microcephaly even have a little undergarments ANd an intellectual disability. Some children with small heads have normal intelligence.

abnormalcy is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. throughout physiological conditions, a baby’s head grows as a result of the baby’s brain growing. abnormalcy will occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing once birth, which ends up during a smaller head size. abnormalcy will be an isolated condition, which means that it will occur with no alternative major birth defects, or it can occur together with other major birth defects.

Severe abnormality could be a lot of serious, extreme variety of this condition wherever a baby’s head is far smaller than expected. Severe microcephaly may end up as a result of a baby’s brain not developing properly throughout pregnancy, or the brain beginning to develop properly and so was broken at some purpose during pregnancy.



What is Microcephaly

Explanation of medical terms and concept Microcephaly

Microcephaly (my-kroh-SEF-uh-lee) is a rare medicine condition within which Associate in Nursing infant' head is way smaller than the heads of alternative kids of identical age and sex. Generally detected at birth, nanocephalous disease often happens once there may be a problem with brain development within the uterus or when the brain stops growing at birth. nanocephalous are often caused by a range of genetic and environmental factors. Kids with microcephaly often have biological process issues. Though there' no treatment for microcephaly, early intervention with speech, activity and other confirmatory therapies might enhance a child's development and improve quality of life. 

Microcephaly is a rare disorder in which the circumference of the head is smaller than normal because the brain has not developed properly or has stopped growing Most babies with microcephaly are born without any signs but some have an abnormally small head an unusually large forehead developmental delays and epilepsy (seizures) There is currently no known cure for microcephaly Treatment focuses on managing symptoms to improve quality of life.

Microcephaly is when a baby or child's head is much smaller than expected. This can happen because of birth defects (congenital) genetic problems, developmental delay or brain damage that happened after birth Microcephaly can cause serious health and development problems.

Symptoms Microcephaly

The primary symptom of abnormalcy has a head size that's a lot of tinyer than that of different children of an equivalent age and sex. Head size could be a live of the gap round the high of the child' head (circumference). exploitation standardized growth charts, health care suppliers compare the activity with other children' measurements in percentiles. Some children simply have small heads, with a measurement that falls below a longtime price for kids of the same age and sex. In children with microcephaly, head size measures much smaller than average for the child' age and sex. a baby with more-severe abnormalcy might also have a sloping forehead. apart from a perceptibly smaller head, the subsequent are the foremost common symptoms of microcephaly: 

  • A high-pitched cry

  • Feeding problems

  • Hearing and vision problems

  • Convulsions (seizures)

  • Increased movement of the arms and legs (spasticity)

  • Hyperactivity (overly active)

  • Developmental delays, or problems learning how to speak, stand and walk

  • Intellectual disabilities (trouble with learning)

As the kid grows older, his or her face continues to grow whereas the os will not. This causes the child to develop an oversized face, a receding forehead and a loose, often wrinkled scalp. The remainder of the body is commonly thin  and smaller than normal. Some babies haven't any visible or noticeable symptoms. Also, some youngsters who have microcephalus persist to develop normally.

When to see a doctor

Chances are your healthcare supplier can sight nanocephalous at your baby' birth or at a daily well-baby checkup. However, if you're thinking that your baby' head is little for the baby' age and sex or isn't growing because it should, ask your provider.

Causes Microcephaly

The exact causes of microcephaly are not known. Microcephaly most commonly occurs  because the brain does not grow at a normal rate. This can be caused by a variety of conditions or  exposure to harmful substances while the baby is in the womb.

 Microcephaly is usually  the result of a  brain development disorder that can occur in the womb (congenital) or in childhood. Microcephaly can be genetic.Other causes can be:

  • Craniosynostosis (kray-nee-o-sin-os-TOE-sis). Early fusing of the joints (sutures) between the bony plates that kind associate baby' os keeps the brain from growing. Treating craniosynostosis sometimes means that an infant wants surgery to separate the amalgamated bones. This surgery relieves pressure on the brain, giving it enough house to grow and develop. 

  • Genetic changes. Down syndrome and other conditions may result in microcephaly.

  • Decreased oxygen to the fetal brain (cerebral anoxia). Certain complications of pregnancy or delivery can impair oxygen delivery to a baby's brain.

  • Infections passed to the fetus during pregnancy. These include toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, German measles (rubella), chickenpox (varicella) and Zika virus.

  • Exposure to drugs, alcohol or certain toxic chemicals in the womb. Any of these may affect fetal brain development during pregnancy.

  • Severe malnutrition. Not getting enough nutrients during pregnancy may hurt fetal brain development.

  • Uncontrolled phenylketonuria (fen-ul-kee-toe-NU-ree-uh), also known as PKU, in the mother. PKU hampers the mother' ability to interrupt down the organic compound essential amino acid and will have an effect on brain development of the craniate throughout pregnancy. 

Complications

Some kids with microcephalus come through organic process milestones albeit their heads can continually be little for his or her age and sex. however looking on the cause and severity of the microcephaly, complications might include:

  • Developmental delays, including speech and movement

  • Difficulties with coordination and balance

  • Dwarfism or short stature

  • Facial distortions

  • Hyperactivity

  • Intellectual delays

  • Seizures

Prevention

Learning your kid has microcephalus will raise questions about future pregnancies. Work together with your health care supplier to work out the reason for the microcephaly. If the cause is genetic, you will need to speak to a biology counselor about the danger of microcephaly in future pregnancies.

Diagnosis Microcephaly

Microcephaly will typically be diagnosed before birth by prenatal  ultrasound. so as to form the identification whereas the baby remains within the womb, the ultrasound ought to be done late in the trimester or in the third trimester. Once the baby is born, abnormalities are often diagnosed by measuring the baby’s head circumference (all the approach around) and comparing it with traditional head sizes of newborns. The doctor will perform an entire physical examination and procure a complete prenatal and birth history of the child. The doctor would possibly raise the elders concerning biological process milestones such as travel and walking, since abnormality is commonly among intellectual disabilities. to work out if your kid has microcephaly, your supplier possibly can take a radical prenatal, birth and case history and do a physical exam. Your provider will live the circumference of your child' head, compare it with a growth chart, and remeasure and plot the expansion at future visits. Parents' head sizes conjointly is also measured to determine whether or not tiny heads run within the family. In some cases, significantly if your child' development is delayed, your health care provider could order a head CT scan or MRI and blood tests to assist verify the underlying reason for the delay.

Treatment Microcephaly

Microcephaly could be a womb-to-tomb condition. there's no known  cure or commonplace treatment for microcephalus. as a result of microcephaly will vary from delicate to severe, treatment choices can range as well. Babies with mild microcephaly typically don’t expertise the other issues besides little head size. These babies can would like routine check-ups to observe their growth and development. For additional severe microcephaly, babies will need care and treatment centered on managing their other health problems (mentioned above). biological process services early in life will often facilitate babies with microcephaly to boost and maximize their physical and intellectual abilities. These services, known as early intervention external icons, will embody speech, occupational, and physical therapies. Generally medications are also required to treat seizures or different symptoms. Apart from surgery for craniosynostosis, there's usually no treatment that {may} enlarges your child's head or reverse complications of microcephaly. Treatment focuses on ways in which to manage your child' condition. Babyhood intervention programs that include speech, physical and physiatrics may facilitate to maximize your child' abilities. Your health care supplier might advocate medication sure enough complications of microcephaly, admire seizures or hyperactivity.

Coping and support

When you learn your kid has microcephaly, you'll feel many various emotions. you'll not grasp what to expect, and you may worry about your child' future. The most effective remedy for worry and worry is info and support.

  • Find a team of trusted professionals. You'll have to be compelled to build vital choices regarding your kid' education and treatment. produce a team of health care providers, teachers, therapists and alternative professionals who will assist you evaluate the resources in your space and justify state and federal programs for kids with organic process disabilities. Your child could need care from many medical specialties, as well as pediatrics and developmental pediatrics, infectious diseases, neurology, ophthalmology, genetics, and psychology. 

  • Seek other families dealing with the same issues. Your community may need support teams for folks of kids with organic process disabilities. you may additionally realize on-line support groups. 

Preparing for your appointment

If you've simply learned your kid has an abnormal condition, otherwise you suspect your child' head is simply too small, you're able to begin by seeing your baby doctor. However, in some cases, your medicines could refer you to a pediatric neurologist. Here's some data to assist you and your child make preparations for the appointment, and what to expect from the doctor.

What you can do

Before your child's appointment, make a list of:

  • Symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the appointment

  • Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent changes in your child's life

  • Any medications, including vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter medicines that your child is taking, and their dosages

  • Questions to raise your child' doctor to form the foremost of some time you'll need to ask concerning little head size or delayed development. If you're concerned about your child' head size, attempt to get the hat sizes or live the pinnacle circumferences of many first-degree relatives, resembling folks and siblings, for comparison. Take a loved one or friend along, if possible, to assist you bear in mind the knowledge you're given. 

For microcephaly, some basic questions to ask your doctor might include:

  • What's likely causing my child's symptoms?

  • Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my child's symptoms?

  • Does my child need additional tests? If so, do these tests require special preparation?

  • What's the best course of action?

  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?

  • Is there a treatment that will return my child's head to a more typical size?

  • If I have additional children, what are the chances they'll have microcephaly?

  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

General summary

Can microcephaly be treated?

In some cases microcephaly can be treated with medication However this is not always the case and depends on what is causing the condition Because brain development has been stunted in children born with microcephaly it may be more difficult for them to learn as they grow older They will likely need extra help at home and school so that they can reach their full potential and live independently when they are adults.

Can a child with microcephaly be normal?

The medical term microcephaly refers to a condition in which the head is smaller than normal when compared to age- and sex-matched peers It is a nonprogressive disorder called primary microcephaly and occurs when there are insufficient fetal brain cells during the first two months after conception resulting in an abnormally small head In some cases parents may also give birth to a stillborn baby or newborn with microcephaly However only if the surviving baby lives longer than 6 months can it be diagnosed as secondary microcephaly (Source: Dr Richard Warshak www.drdickw.

How long can a child with microcephaly live?

Because microcephaly affects the brain it can be hard to predict a child’s developmental or life span. The severity of symptoms varies from child to child. Some will have mild microcephaly and do just fine throughout their lives while others may need assistance with everyday tasks.

At what age is microcephaly diagnosed?

Microcephaly is not always easy to detect at birth In fact it might go undiagnosed until a child's development has been significantly impacted or even arrested by the condition As such doctors recommend that babies be regularly examined by medical providers throughout infancy and early childhood During these checkups pediatricians or other health care professionals will look for indicators like low birth weight and failure to gain weight appropriately They also observe infants' growth over time by measuring them periodically using either standard measuring devices or scales designed specifically for this purpose.

Why is my head so small?

That's right the reason your head is so small is because you're a dinosaur Ha ha very funny Actually your head is small because it contains billions of neurons that are responsible for storing memory and processing all of our cognitive functions like learning speech So even though we have a brain that weighs about 3 pounds (1.4 kg) it only takes up about 2% of our body weight!.

How can you prevent microcephaly?

Microcephaly is the most common birth defect associated with Zika virus It occurs when babies are born with abnormally small heads which can cause delayed development of motor functions and intellectual disabilities However to date there have been no reported cases of microcephaly in America due to exposure to Zika virus The CDC recommends several ways to minimize mosquito bites: wear long-sleeved shirts and pants; use insect repellent containing DEET; spray insect repellent on your hands and then apply it to your face; avoid areas where mosquitoes congregate such as standing water or man-made containers that can retain water.

How can I help my baby 's head grow?

In the first few weeks the length of your baby's head will grow faster than his or her body This lengthening is due mainly to an increase in brain size and an increase in spinal fluid It will take a while for your baby to catch up with other body parts but as his or her neck muscles develop (and get used to holding up that big noggin) they'll help keep his or her head steady.

What if my baby's head is not growing?

A baby's head should grow about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) each month after birth up until the age of 6 months.   If this growth rate slows or stops it could indicate a problem with your child's health -- but only a doctor can tell for sure.

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Microcephaly : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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