Microcephaly (microcephalia; from the Greek. mikros - small and kephale - head) - a significant decrease in the size of the skull in the normal growth of other parts of the body and severe deficiency of mental development. At small sizes of the skull are observed, respectively, and the small size of the brain (microencephaly). Reduced head circumference adults up to 48 cm, and lower when the weight of the brain below 950-1000 g justify a diagnosis of microcephaly. In children the diagnosis of microcephaly established on the basis of sharp reduction and inconsistencies head sizes age. The weight of the brain in children macrocephalon can range from 250 to 900 g; accordingly there and reduced head circumference to 30-40 see, However, there are descriptions of microcephalos with much lower figures weight and volume of the brain. Brain of the skull seems incongruous small compared to a developed front part of it. In children of early age Rodnichok sometimes closes prematurely; the stitches heal faster and velikobrita act.
Macroscopically by microcephaly brain size is significantly reduced. The figure of furrows and brains large hemisphere very unique, their structure does not fully conform to normal. The disproportionate certain parts of the brain is the most feature of microcephaly.
Histological pattern changes in the brain is not strictly specific. Along with being in different stages of embryonic development nerve cells are also quite Mature cells form.
Quite common phenomenon heterotopia. In the brain there are numerous anomalies cytoarchitectonic. Frequent sclerotic and degenerative processes, reasonable hydrocephalus, cysts, porencephaly pointing to a fetal brain damage.
Die microcephaly usually at a young age.
The insufficient degree of development of mental abilities of microcephalos extremely diverse: from profound mental retardation (idiocy) to nerezko expressed imbecility (see Mental retardation).
In some mild cases of microcephaly patients can learn, difficult to read a little, do some work, perform simple assignments, can sew. However, quite often a more severe form of microcephaly characterized by significant decrease of intelligence.
Causes of M may be different. Much emphasis viral diseases transferred by the mother in the first 3 months of pregnancy, i.e. in the period of formation of the brain. M may be a consequence of the disease toxoplasmosis. Sometimes M is the consequence transferred in utero meningoencephalitis; in this case, there are other symptoms of Central nervous system.
The prognosis for microcephaly in all cases, adverse, as the treatment of such patients is inefficient. Educational activities give an insignificant results, Patients subject to placement in a special institution for mentally retarded children. Repeated cases M. in one family should survey the mother for toxoplasmosis and intensive treatment. It is recommended to protect pregnant women from contact with sick viral infections, and in case of diseases to treat them with gamma globulin or serum of patients. Cm. also the brain (malformations), the Skull.