Microcephaly

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Is there any treatment for microcephaly?

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. Early childhood intervention programs that involve physical, speech, and occupational therapists help to maximize abilities and minimize dysfunction. Medications are often used to control seizures, hyperactivity, and neuromuscular symptoms. Genetic counseling may help families understand the risk for microcephaly in subsequent pregnancies.

What is the prognosis for microcephaly?

Some children will only have mild disability. Others, especially if they are otherwise growing and developing normally, will have normal intelligence and continue to develop and meet regular age-appropriate milestones.

What research is being done on microcephaly?

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2015

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