Microcephaly: Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex. Sometimes detected at birth, microcephaly usually is the result of the brain developing abnormally in the womb or not growing as it should after birth. Microcephaly can be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Children with microcephaly often have developmental issues. In israel estimated population is 6,199,008 in this population the Extrapolated Incidence is 9.
Treatment: There is no treatment for microcephaly that can return a child’s head to a normal size or shape. Treatment focuses on ways to decrease the impact of the associated deformities and neurological disabilities. Children with microcephaly and developmental delays are usually evaluated by a pediatric neurologist and followed by a medical management team. Medications are often used to control seizures, hyperactivity, and neuromuscular symptoms. Genetic counseling may help families understand the risk for microcephaly in subsequent pregnancies.
Symptoms: Aside from a noticeably smaller head, the following are the most common symptoms of microcephaly. High-pitched cry, Poor feeding, Convulsions, Increased movement of the arms and legs (spasticity), Hyperactivity, Developmental delays, Mental retardation As the child grows older, his or her face continues to grow while the skull does not. This causes the child to develop a disproportionately large face, a receding forehead and a loose, often wrinkled scalp. The rest of the body is often underweight and proportionately smaller than normal.
Research: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research relating to microcephaly in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and supports additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. A small group of researchers studying a rare neurometabolic syndrome (3-PGDH), which causes microcephaly, have successfully used amino acid replacement therapy to reduce and prevent seizures.