In this Article
What causes microcephaly?
It is most often caused by genetic abnormalities that interfere with the growth of the cerebral cortex during the early months of fetal development. It is associated with Down's syndrome, chromosomal syndromes, and neurometabolic syndromes. Babies may also be born with microcephaly if, during pregnancy, their mother abused drugs or alcohol, became infected with a cytomegalovirus, rubella (German measles), or varicella (chicken pox) virus, was exposed to certain toxic chemicals, or had untreated phenylketonuria (PKU).
Babies born with microcephaly will have a smaller than normal head that will fail to grow as they progress through infancy.
What are microcephaly symptoms and signs?
Depending on the severity of the accompanying syndrome, children with microcephaly may have
Some children with microcephaly will have normal intelligence and a head that will grow bigger, but they will track below the normal growth curves for head circumference.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2015
Viewers share their comments
Microcephaly - Symptoms and Signs Question: Does your child or a child you know have microcephaly? What were the main signs and symptoms associated with the condition?
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions