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NINDS Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum Information Page




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What is Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum?

Agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) is one of several disorders of the corpus callosum, the structure that connects the two hemispheres (left and right) of the brain. In ACC the corpus callosum is partially or completely absent.  It is caused by a disruption of brain cell migration during fetal development. ACC can occur as an isolated condition or in combination with other cerebral abnormalities, including Arnold-Chiari malformation, Dandy-Walker syndrome, schizencephaly (clefts or deep divisions in brain tissue), and holoprosencephaly (failure of the forebrain to divide into lobes.) Girls may have a gender-specific condition called Aicardi syndrome, which causes severe cognitive impairment and developmental delays, seizures, abnormalities in the vertebra of the spine, and lesions on the retina of the eye. ACC can also be associated with malformations in other parts of the body, such as midline facial defects. The effects of the disorder range from subtle or mild to severe, depending on associated brain abnormalities. Children with the most severe brain malformations may have intellectual impairment, seizures, hydrocephalus, and spasticity.  Other disorders of the corpus callosum include dysgenesis, in which the corpus callosum is developed in a malformed or incomplete way, and hypoplasia, in which the corpus callosum is thinner than usual.  Individuals with these disorders have a higher risk of hearing deficits and cardiac abnormalities than individuals with the normal structure.  It is estimated that at lease one in 4,000 individuals has a disorder of the corpus callosum.

Is there any treatment?

There is no standard course of treatment for ACC. Treatment usually involves management of symptoms and seizures if they occur. Associated difficulties are much more manageable with early recognition and therapy, especially therapies focusing on left/right coordination. Early diagnosis and interventions are currently the best treatments to improve social and developmental outcomes.

What is the prognosis?

Prognosis depends on the extent and severity of malformations. Intellectual impairment does not worsen. Individuals with a disorder of the corpus callosum typically have delays in attaining developmental milestones such as walking, talking, or reading; challenges with social interactions; clumsiness and poor motor coordination, particularly on skills that require coordination of left and right hands and feet (such as swimming, bicycle riding, and driving; and mental and social processing problems that become more apparent with age, with problems particularly evident from junior high school into adulthood.

What research is being done?

The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS conducts and supports a wide range of studies that explore the complex mechanisms of normal brain development. NINDS-funded research includes studies to understand the genetic causes of ACC, as well as to understand how magnetic resonance imaging findings may help predict outcome and response to therapy.

NIH Patient Recruitment for Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum Clinical Trials

Organizations

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March of Dimes
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
askus@marchofdimes.com
http://www.marchofdimes.com
Tel: 914-997-4488; 888-MODIMES (663-4637)
Fax: 914-428-8203

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
orphan@rarediseases.org
http://www.rarediseases.org
Tel: 203-744-0100; Voice Mail: 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

National Organization for Disorders of the Corpus Callosum
PMB 363
18032-C Lemon Drive
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
info@nodcc.org
http://www.nodcc.org
Tel: 714-747-0063
Fax: 714-693-0808

 
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Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892



NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Last Modified February 23, 2016