Septo-optic dysplasia is the name given to the condition where a child is diagnosed with two or more of the following problems: optic nerve hypoplasia, midline brain abnormalities and pituitary gland abnormalities. It is a rare condition affecting around 1 in every 10,000 births, with boys and girls affected equally.
Septo-optic dysplasia is a congenital condition so it is present at birth, although it may not be diagnosed until childhood, or rarely, adolescence. Septo-optic dysplasia was previously known as de Morsier syndrome.
Let’s see in depth how does septo-optic dysplasia occur. The brain is split into two halves, a right and left half. A thin wall known as a septum separates these halves. Very rarely when a baby is growing in the womb not all of the parts of the eye and brain grow correctly. When a part of the body does not grow correctly it is known as dysplasia. In children with Septo-optic dysplasia parts of the brain in and around this septum and the optic nerves do not grow fully while in the womb. Poor growth of the optic nerves is usually called Optic Nerve Hypoplasia.
Nearly all cases of Septo-optic Dysplasia occur by chance. There is no good evidence that the condition runs in families or is caused by prescription or recreational drugs.
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