Craniosynostosis is a skull deformity that is present at birth. It's caused by the premature closure of sutures in the infant's skull. Sutures separate individual skull bones and when they close early it results in an abnormal shape of the head. Unless the craniosynostosis is related to another genetic disease which results in complications, the condition is primarily cosmetic, causing only a misshapen head and few other symptoms.
Craniosynostosis varies depending on the location of the premature closure. Depending on the area of sutures that closed early, a child with the condition may have an abnormally long and narrow head, which causes a broad forehead, or may have a smaller than average head. However, in some cases, craniosynostosis may not be visible at birth or in infancy. Regular check-ups with your doctor will allow him or her to monitor your child's head growth and to take notice early of any abnormalities.
Craniosynostosis and genetics
There is little evidence to suggest a link between craniosynostosis and genetics in most cases. However, there is a genetic component to some instances of the condition. When a case of craniosynotosis is classed as hereditary, it is typically linked with other genetic illnesses, such as Apert, Carpenter, Chotzen, Crouzon, or Pfeiffer syndromes.
In the case of genetic craniosynostosis, the condition may cause symptoms beyond the cosmetic, including seizures, blindness and decreased intellectual capacity.
Craniosynostosis surgery is the only treatment for the condition. Surgery is frequently performed not only to improve the shape of the infant's head, but also to make sure there is enough room in the skull for the brain to grow normally, and also to relieve any intercranial pressure that may be a result of the shape of the skull.
It's important to treat craniosynostosis early as the misshapen head can interfere with brain growth, resulting in intercranial pressure, seizures, or even developmental delays. The skull deformity will be permanent if it's not treated with surgery.
The results of the surgery will vary depending on the location and number of sutures which closed prematurely, as well as whether or not the condition is linked to other hereditary conditions or illnesses. However, once treated, and outside of other genetic syndromes related to the occurrence of craniosynostosis, those born with the condition aren't typically negatively affected by it.
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