Microcefalia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Microcephaly, which has all the time been a moderately peculiar and poorly understood downside within the normal inhabitants, has not too long ago received a lot notoriety because of its affiliation with Zika virus an infection all through being pregnant.

In this newsletter we can provide an explanation for what microcephaly is, what are its primary reasons, its signs, the types of prognosis and the remedy choices.

Here, let’s speak about microcephaly generally, associated with a number of distinct sicknesses, together with Zika. If you might be in search of explicit details about Zika fever microcephaly, discuss with the next hyperlink: ZIKA FEBRE – Causes, Symptoms, Microcephaly and Treatment.


The measurement of the kids’s head is immediately associated with the dimensions of the mind. If the child’s mind grows, his cranium expands in the similar share.

Our cranium consists of six bones that at start are separated by way of fontanelles (molleiras). This separation lets in the cranium to make bigger because the mind grows.

The mind actually pushes the bones of the cranium, inflicting them to make bigger. This fee of growth is upper within the first few months and progressively decreases through the years because the fontanelles shut and restrict the capability of cranium growth.

If for some reason why the fetus does now not correctly increase the mind throughout the uterus, it is going to be born with a smaller sized cranium than anticipated. These circumstances are referred to as congenital microcephaly.

Microcephaly may also be obtained. A toddler can have had typical construction within the fetal degree, however the mind would possibly prevent rising after start. Over time, your kid’s frame will develop quicker than your cranium, making your head glance smaller than anticipated. These circumstances that stand up after start are referred to as obtained microcephaly.

Early closure of the fontanelles, referred to as craniosynostosis, is any other imaginable reason for obtained microcephaly. In this situation, the mind does now not develop as a result of there’s a limitation of its bodily house.

In maximum circumstances, microcephaly is expounded to a extend in highbrow construction. In about 15% of sufferers, then again, microcephaly is delicate and the kid can have an ordinary or near-normal intelligence stage.

As already discussed, microcephaly itself isn’t a illness, this is a signal of illness. When a kid has microcephaly, one will have to attempt to establish the purpose in the back of this modification.

We will talk specifying the reasons later.


The definition of microcephaly used within the creation of this newsletter is so simple as imaginable: a head whose circumference is smaller than the circumference anticipated for youngsters of the similar measurement and age.

In apply, then again, we want a slightly extra detailed definition, involving numbers or percentages in order that this comparability with the remainder of the inhabitants may also be made.

Historically, the clinical definition of microcephaly has all the time been slightly complicated and obscure for the lay public. The two maximum recurrently used settings are:

  • Occipitofrontal circumference (COF) not up to 2 usual deviations beneath the imply or not up to the third percentile (delicate microcephaly).
  • Occipitofrontal circumference (COF) not up to three usual deviations beneath the imply (serious microcephaly).

To use the above standards, one will have to perceive the concept that of usual deviation and feature a desk with the circumferential occipitofrontal circumference curves for the quite a lot of ages, taking into consideration the traits of the inhabitants in query.

With the emergence of Zika circumstances in pregnancies, the occurrence of microcephaly larger sharply, and the prognosis had to be simplified, a minimum of for newborns.

With a view to facilitating and extending the detection of circumstances of microcephaly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has began to suggest microcephaly as a easy dimension with a head circumference measuring tape (cranium circumference), as proven within the picture that opens the item.

Boys with cephalic perimeter not up to or equivalent to 31.nine cm or women with cephalic perimeter not up to or equivalent to 31.five cm are regarded as microcephalic.

It is necessary to emphasise that this criterion best applies to new child and full-term kids, this is, greater than 37 weeks of gestation.

This criterion isn’t helpful for the prognosis of obtained microcephaly or congenital microcephaly in preterm babies.


Several sicknesses could cause microcephaly, from genetic issues, to medication or medication all through being pregnant, to infections and to trauma.

Below we can checklist one of the imaginable reasons:

  • Disorders of genetic or chromosomal foundation, comparable to Down Syndrome, Poland, Edward, Patau, Rett, X-linked microcephaly and several other others.
  • Complications all through childbirth or all through being pregnant resulting in loss of oxygen to the child’s mind (hypoxic encephalopathy).
  • Craniosynostosis (early fusion of cranium bones).
  • Infections all through being pregnant, comparable to rubella, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, varicella, HIV or Zika.
  • Meningitis.
  • Use of teratogenic medications all through being pregnant.
  • Maternal malnutrition.
  • Consumption of alcohol in being pregnant.
  • Drug use in being pregnant, comparable to heroin, marijana, or ocaine.
  • Smoking all through being pregnant.
  • Radiation publicity.
  • Maternal folate deficiency.
  • Maternal metabolic sicknesses, comparable to phenylketonuria.
  • Maternal poisoning by way of lead or mercury.
  • Diabetes mellitus poorly managed all through being pregnant.
  • Stroke within the new child.

Although the above checklist is big and now not whole, many circumstances of microcephaly finally end up being left unidentified. This typically happens as a result of they’re brought about by way of genetic abnormalities whose analysis isn’t to be had at their position of place of abode, or by way of inadvertent publicity to damaging components or by way of prenatal infections that weren’t identified all through being pregnant.


The sign found in all circumstances of microcephaly is a small head, of a measurement disproportionate to the frame. Microcephaly able to inflicting retardation in highbrow construction is continuously relatively obtrusive on bodily exam.

Some sufferers with delicate microcephaly wouldn’t have every other indicators or signs rather then a head this is not up to the typical of the inhabitants. In those circumstances, referred to as remoted microcephaly or microcephaly vera, highbrow capacities is also nearly or totally preserved.

In maximum circumstances, then again, microcephaly is accompanied by way of different indicators and signs, whether or not they stem from deficient mind construction or from the syndromes themselves that experience impeded right kind expansion of the mind and cranium.

Depending at the severity of the accompanying syndrome, kids with microcephaly can have:

  • Late highbrow construction.
  • Delay in speech construction.
  • Delay in child developmental milestones (take a seat, stand, move slowly, stroll… )
  • Motor incoordination.
  • Muscular tension (spasticity).
  • Imbalance.
  • Facial distortions.
  • Physical adjustments standard of the genetic syndrome of which the affected person is a service (comparable to Down’s syndrome, as an example).
  • Short.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Convulsive disaster.
  • Visual or auditory deficits.


The prognosis may also be made even all through being pregnant thru fetal ultrasound, which is in a position to measure the dimensions of the fetal cranium. The easiest time for this analysis is on the finish of the 2d trimester, all through the examination this is typically referred to as “morphological ultrasound”.

Even despite the fact that fetal ultrasonography is typical, the child’s head circumference will have to be measured 24 hours after start. If you might be typical, your pediatrician will have to stay measurements all through regimen appointments till the kid is 2 years previous and your fontanelles are closed.

If at any time the pediatrician suspects microcephaly, the kid will have to be referred to a specialised pediatrician.

Some imaging assessments, comparable to magnetic resonance imaging, may give necessary details about the child’s mind construction, serving to to verify microcephaly, and provides recommendations on its imaginable reasons.


Although there’s no remedy, there are remedies that assist decrease the issues brought about by way of microcephaly.

As already discussed, babies with delicate microcephaly normally provide no different issues than a small head. These circumstances best want tracking, and no explicit remedy is needed.

For small children with craniosynostosis, there are surgical procedures that assist detach the bones from the skulls, permitting the mind to develop with out restrictions.

In kids with extra serious circumstances, the remedy goals at controlling the related indicators and signs, comparable to muscle stiffness, seizures, behind schedule speech construction, and so on.

The neurological analysis is immediately associated with the stage of microcephaly, being worse in sufferers with occipitofrontal circumference beneath three usual deviations beneath the imply and in the ones with microcephaly brought about by way of extra serious genetic syndromes or infections all through being pregnant.

Source by way of Sami Sou


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