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Brain Malformations

Summary

Most brain malformations begin long before a baby is born. Something damages the developing nervous system or causes it to develop abnormally. Sometimes it’s a genetic problem. In other cases, exposure to certain medicines, infections, or radiation during pregnancy interferes with brain development. Parts of the brain may be missing, abnormally small or large, or not fully developed.

Treatment depends upon the problem. In many cases, treatment only helps with symptoms. It may include antiseizure medicines, shunts to drain fluid from the brain, and physical therapy.

There are head malformations that do not involve the brain. Craniofacial disorders are the result of abnormal growth of soft tissue and bones in the face and head. It’s common for new babies to have slightly uneven heads, but parents should watch the shape of their baby’s head for possible problems.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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