Schizencephaly is a rare birth defect that involves slits or clefts in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. These clefts may appear on either one or both sides of the brain. They may be filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
At this time, there is no cure for schizencephaly. However, there are several treatments that can help improve quality of life.
If an infant has cerebrospinal fluid (CFS) in the brain, doctors can insert shunts. These redirect the fluid to other parts of the body where it can be harmlessly reabsorbed.
Medication is often prescribed to help prevent seizures.
There are at least three different kinds of therapists that can help a child with schizencephaly. Physical therapists can help with gross (large) motor movements like standing, walking, and strengthening arms and legs. Occupational therapists deal with fine motor movements like feeding oneself and getting dressed. Speech therapists can help children who have trouble learning to speak or if paralysis makes swallowing difficult.
Because so little is known about this condition, researchers are always looking for children who have schizencephaly to participate in clinical trials. Many trials offer free treatments such as medications or therapies. Before deciding to sign your child up for a clinical trial, speak with your child’s doctor and read all research material closely.
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