What is it?

Microcephaly refers to a condition in which the baby’s or child’s head circumference is smaller in comparison to other babies or children of the same age and sex. Microcephaly could be normal or indicate a problem in the development and growth of the brain tissue. Craniosynostosis, which means there is a fusion of the babies’ skull plates, could cause microcephaly. Other causes may include genetic syndromes such as Down’s, cerebral anoxia during perinatal times, infections during pregnancy, exposure to alcohol and drugs during pregnancy, severe malnutrition and phenylketonuria. Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include head imaging and genetic testing. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may include surgical procedures, physical and occupational therapy and some medications for several conditions.

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