What is Microcephaly?
Microcephaly is a medical condition in which the head or circumference of the child is usually smaller as compared to that of the normal child. It is either due to the cause that the brain has not been developed properly or it has stopped growing. Microcephaly might get developed in the first few years of life or might get present at birth.
What are the Symptoms and Signs of Microcephaly?
Depending upon the severity of the accompanying syndrome, children may experience the following symptoms that are as follows:-
- Facial distortion,
- Impaired cognitive development,
- Hearing loss & vision problems,
- High pitched cry,
- Delayed speech or motor functions,
- Neurological abnormalities,
- Difficulties with co-ordination & balance.
- Some of the children may experience a head that grows bigger and will have normal intelligence but it will be below the normal growth curves of circumferences of the head.
What are the Possible Causes of Microcephaly?
In most of the babies, the cause is unknown for microcephaly. Whereas in some babies it is genetic or could be prenatal exposure to a substance.
A possible cause might include the following:-
- Exposure to chemicals in the womb,
- Lack of nutrients or vitamins in the maternal diet,
- Untreated phenylketonuria,
- Use of drug or alcohol during the pregnancy,
- Interruption of the blood supply in the womb to the fetal brain,
- Maternal infection during the pregnancy,
In most of the researches, it has been stated that the Zika virus infection has also caused microcephaly in the babies. If you are concerned about the risks of microcephaly then you should consult with the doctor to reduce the risk of your baby developing microcephaly. And can lead a healthy lifestyle in later years.
Diagnosis of Microcephaly
Microcephaly could also be diagnosed when the baby is in utero through the ultrasound. It is done during the beginning of the third or the end of the second trimester. In toddlers, doctors measure the child head’s circumference at each visit and compare the scale. Diagnostic tests help to diagnose or confirm the abnormalities of the brain which include:
- A blood test,
- Urine test,
- Head measurement, etc.
What is the Treatment for Microcephaly
This is a lifelong condition that can’t be cured or fixed in the sense of fixing head into a typical shape or size. Basically the treatment focuses on the prevention of other deformities and helps the child to maximize his capabilities and potential.
If a child is diagnosed with microcephaly then he is frequently examined and tested. A treatment plan is tailored to your child by the team to meet the goals that you had like to accomplish. If the parents are thinking of having more children and there is a genetic component to microcephaly then it is recommended to work with a genetic counselor. You can evaluate the risk of getting another child with the condition and may get more insight details.
Take a deep breath if your baby has been diagnosed with microcephaly. Since it is not curable but still there are therapies that can minimize the effects of this condition. You can also help your child to maximize his abilities. You should talk with your pediatrician to get more aspects of microcephaly.