Schizencephaly is a rate birth defect in which the cerebral hemispheres of the brain have abnormal slits or clefts. These clefts may contain cerebrospinal fluid and may appear on either or both the sides of the brain.
The symptoms depend upon whether the clefts are bilateral (both sides of the brain) or unilateral (only one of the brain).
The exact cause of this disorder is not known yet. But it is believed in some cases the defect may occur due to the mutations of EMX2, SIX3 and SHH genes. It may also occur in siblings due to genetic reasons.Some of the other symptoms of schizencephaly include partial or complete paralysis, poor muscle tone, smaller head than normal, recurring seizures, fluid accumulation in the brain.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is used to diagnose the disorder. The diagnosis is confirmed if the clefts are found in one or both the sides of the brain in the test.
There is no cure for schizencephaly but treatments are done to relieve the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
The prognosis of the condition depends upon the size of the clefts and the extent of disabilities they cause in an individual.
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