Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.
Can babies with small heads be normal?
Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than normal. It is most often present at birth (congenital). Most children with microcephaly also have a small brain and an intellectual disability. Some children with small heads have normal intelligence.
What does a small head mean?
Microcephaly is a condition in which a person’s head size is much smaller than that of others of the same age and sex. Head size is measured as the distance around the top of the head. A smaller than normal size is determined using standardized charts.
When is microcephaly diagnosed?
Diagnosis. Early diagnosis of microcephaly can sometimes be made by fetal ultrasound. Ultrasounds have the best diagnosis possibility if they are made at the end of the second trimester, around 28 weeks, or in the third trimester of pregnancy. Often diagnosis is made at birth or at a later stage.
Should I be concerned if my baby’s head is small?
Chances are your doctor will detect microcephaly at the baby’s birth or at a regular well-baby checkup. However, if you think your baby’s head is smaller than normal or isn’t growing as it should, talk to your doctor.
Should I worry about my baby’s head circumference?
Another measure of infant growth is head circumference, or the size of your baby’s head. It’s important because it can indicate how well their brain is growing. If your baby’s brain isn’t growing properly, they may have a condition known as microcephaly.
What causes small head size?
Microcephaly is a condition where the head (circumference) is smaller than normal. Microcephaly may be caused by genetic abnormalities or by drugs, alcohol, certain viruses, and toxins that are exposed to the fetus during pregnancy and damage the developing brain tissue.
Is microcephaly a genetic disorder?
Microcephaly is an autosomal recessive gene disorder. Autosomal means that boys and girls are equally affected. Recessive means that two copies of the gene, one from each parent, are needed to have the condition. Some genetic disorders that cause microcephaly are X-linked.
How do I know if my baby has microcephaly?
You may find out your baby has microcephaly during pregnancy or after he’s born.
After birth, a baby with microcephaly may have these signs and symptoms:
- Small head size.
- Failure to thrive (slow weight gain and growth)
- High-pitched crying.
- Little appetite or problems with feeding.
- Muscle spasms.
Does Macrocephaly go away?
Macrocephaly Due to Hydrocephalus
Doctors call it “benign extra-axial collections of infancy” or “benign external hydrocephalus.” Children typically outgrow the condition by early childhood.