Megalencephaly (MEG), also called macrencephaly, is a condition in which an infant or child has an abnormally large, heavy, and usually malfunctioning brain. By definition, the brain weight is greater than average for the age and gender of the child. Head enlargement may be evident at birth or the head may become abnormally large in the early years of life.
Megalencephaly is thought to be related to a disturbance in the regulation of cell production in the brain. In normal development, neuron proliferation – the process in which nerve cells divide to form new generations of cells – is regulated so that the correct number of cells is produced in the proper place at the appropriate time. In a megalencephalic brain, too many cells are produced either during development or progressively as part of another disorder, such as one of the neurofibromatoses or leukodystrophies.
There is no cure for megalencephaly. Medical treatments can help with symptoms and underlying disorders. Rehabilitative treatment can help associated neurological and physical disabilities.
Medications: Anti-epileptic drugs can help to control seizures.
Home Care: Physical, speech, and occupational therapy are sometimes advised. This depends on the severity of disabilities.
There are no known ways to prevent megalencephaly. Genetic counselling can help patients with a family history of the condition.
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