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Thursday, September 20, 2018

What Is Microcephaly Disease

Microcephaly is a medical condition in which the brain does not develop properly resulting in a smaller than normal head. Microcephaly may be present at birth or it may develop in the first few years of life.


what is microcephaly disease

What is microcephaly disease?

Microcephaly disease is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size. Microcephaly can be an isolated condition, meaning that it can occur with no other major birth defects, or it can occur in combination with other major birth defects.

What is severe microcephaly?

Severe microcephaly is a more serious, extreme form of this condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. Severe microcephaly can result because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy, or the brain started to develop correctly and then was damaged at some point during pregnancy.

Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of microcephaly in most babies are unknown. Some babies have microcephaly because of changes in their genes. Other causes of microcephaly, including severe microcephaly, can include the following exposures during pregnancy:

  • Certain infections during pregnancy, such as rubella, toxoplasmosis, or cytomegalovirus
  • Severe malnutrition, meaning a lack of nutrients or not getting enough food
  • Exposure to harmful substances, such as alcohol, certain drugs, or toxic chemicals
  • Interruption of the blood supply to the baby’s brain during development

Some babies with microcephaly have been reported among mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. CDC scientists announced that enough evidence has accumulated to conclude that Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.

CDC continues to study birth defects, such as microcephaly, and how to prevent them. If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor about ways to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

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