Hydranencephaly is a rare condition in which the brain's cerebral hemispheres are absent and replaced by sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid. An infant with hydranencephaly may appear normal at birth. The infant's head size and spontaneous reflexes such as sucking, swallowing, crying, and moving the arms and legs may all seem normal.
Some infants may have additional abnormalities at birth including seizures, myoclonus (involuntary sudden, rapid jerks), limited thermoregulation abilities, and respiratory problems.
Still other infants display no obvious symptoms at birth, going many months without a confirmed diagnosis of hydranencephaly. In some cases a severe hydrocephalus, or other cephalic conditions, diagnosis is misdiagnosed.
Hydranencephaly cannot be cured with any definitive treatment. Only the symptoms of it can be treated to provide relief and also the treatment is supportive in nature. Hydrocephalus may be treated with a shunt (a surgically implanted tube that diverts fluid from one pathway to another).
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