Colpocephaly is defined as an inborn brain abnormality which is caused when the occipital horns of the brain are larger than normal. This happens due to white matter in the posterior cerebrum failing to develop or thicken.
Colpocephaly is characterised under cephalic disorders, which is a group of structural brain disorders. What causes colpocephaly is not known to researchers yet but it is believed to have resulted from some kind of disturbance in foetal environment which occurs between the second and sixth month of pregnancy.
Colpocephaly is marked by a small head circumference and intellectual disability in most cases. Abnormalities in movement, muscle spasms, and seizures are some other sings of this disorder. Some individual cases have also reported symptoms like poor vision, speech and language difficulties, hearing impairement, and chorioretinitis.
The symptoms experienced could vary in intensity for person to person from being mild to severe. Some patients do not show most of the symptoms related to colpocephaly such as, psychomotor abnormalities and agenesis of the corpus callosum.
Colpocephaly sometimes is diagnosed late in pregnancy but is often mistaken to be hydrocephalus (excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the brain). More often, colpocephaly is diagnosed after birth when the baby exhibits symptoms.
Colpocephaly cannot be treated definitely. The treatment course is decided according to the symptoms that the patient is showing. To prevent seizures, doctors prescribe anticonvulsant medicines. The shrinkage or shortening of muscles is helped through exercise therapies and orthopaedic appliances.
The condition usually doesn’t cause death in affected people and there has been promising research going on for ways to treat colpocephaly. Stem therapy is one such research.
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