Microcephaly in children
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Microcephaly is a serious condition that is characterized by a very small size of the skull and often occurs after birth. It is a neurological disorder that manifests through a malformation of the bones of the skull of children.
The most obvious symptom is very small head circumference compared to other children of the same age and same sex. The disease is very rare and affects the intellectual capacity. In only 15% of cases, children with microcephaly develop normal intelligence. The life expectancy of the sick children is quite low.
Causes of microcephaly in children
The size of a child's head is determined by how the brain grows, so by its degree of expansion inside the skull. Therefore, microcephaly appears then the brain does not grow normally, depending on the age and developmental degree of the child. This improper growth can have several causes:
- chromosomal malformations - Down syndrome, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, Seckel syndrome;
- maternal viral infections - toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus infection, measles;
- maternal alcoholism and drug abuse during pregnancy;
- maternal diabetes;
- maternal phenylketonuria;
- maternal malnutrition;
- mercury poisoning.
In the cases listed above, the child is born with this condition, but it can be acquired after birth as a result of brain damage, infections, hypoxia, etc.
Symptoms of microcephaly
Apart from the extremely small and easily observable skull perimeter, microcephaly is manifested by other symptoms:
- crying sharp, like a shout;
- delays in growth and development;
- delayed development of motor functions;
- delay in the development of language and speech;
- mental retardation.
It is important to mention that the size of the skull remains the same, even with the passage of time. The skull remains the same size even in adulthood. As the face continues to develop over time, the head remains as small, which leads to an increased disproportionality in the child's appearance. And the rest of the body is smaller and the weight is often below the normal average.
Treatment of microcephaly
So far, no treatment has been found to completely cure microcephaly. It is a condition that the child has all his life, but some measures can be taken to slightly improve the quality of the child's life.
The therapeutic measures are focused on the improvement of the symptoms, not on the cure of the disease. Doctors and parents must work together to help the child cope with the disease. Emphasis should be placed on increasing self-esteem and promoting independence in what it does.
The child with microcephaly needs regular medical checks to monitor their health and disease progression. Life expectancy for children suffering from microcephaly is quite low.
Do you know of a child with microcephaly? How did the parents cope with the situation and how is the state of the child present? Share your story in the comment section below!