Moebius Syndrome Information Page

Moebius Syndrome Information Page


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What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts and supports a broad range of research on neurogenetic disorders, including Moebius syndrome. The goals of these studies are to develop improved techniques to diagnose, treat, and eventually cure these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Facial Injuries and Disorders

×
What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts and supports a broad range of research on neurogenetic disorders, including Moebius syndrome. The goals of these studies are to develop improved techniques to diagnose, treat, and eventually cure these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Facial Injuries and Disorders

The NINDS conducts and supports a broad range of research on neurogenetic disorders, including Moebius syndrome. The goals of these studies are to develop improved techniques to diagnose, treat, and eventually cure these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Facial Injuries and Disorders


Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Moebius syndrome is a rare birth defect caused by the absence or underdevelopment of the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, which control eye movements and facial expression. Many of the other cranial nerves may also be affected, including the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th. The first symptom, present at birth, is an inability to suck. Other symptoms can include: feeding, swallowing, and choking problems; excessive drooling; crossed eyes; lack of facial expression; inability to smile; eye sensitivity; motor delays; high or cleft palate; hearing problems and speech difficulties. Children with Moebius syndrome are unable to move their eyes back and forth. Decreased numbers of muscle fibers have been reported. Deformities of the tongue, jaw, and limbs, such as clubfoot and missing or webbed fingers, may also occur. As children get older, lack of facial expression and inability to smile become the dominant visible symptoms. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of children with Moebius syndrome have some degree of autism.

There are four recognized categories of Moebius syndrome:

  • Group I, characterized by small or absent brain stem nuclei that control the cranial nerves;
  • Group II, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons in the facial peripheral nerve;
  • Group III, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons and other brain cells, microscopic areas of damage, and hardened tissue in the brainstem nuclei, and,
  • Group IV, characterized by muscular symptoms in spite of a lack of lesions in the cranial nerve.
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Definition

Moebius syndrome is a rare birth defect caused by the absence or underdevelopment of the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, which control eye movements and facial expression. Many of the other cranial nerves may also be affected, including the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th. The first symptom, present at birth, is an inability to suck. Other symptoms can include: feeding, swallowing, and choking problems; excessive drooling; crossed eyes; lack of facial expression; inability to smile; eye sensitivity; motor delays; high or cleft palate; hearing problems and speech difficulties. Children with Moebius syndrome are unable to move their eyes back and forth. Decreased numbers of muscle fibers have been reported. Deformities of the tongue, jaw, and limbs, such as clubfoot and missing or webbed fingers, may also occur. As children get older, lack of facial expression and inability to smile become the dominant visible symptoms. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of children with Moebius syndrome have some degree of autism.

There are four recognized categories of Moebius syndrome:

  • Group I, characterized by small or absent brain stem nuclei that control the cranial nerves;
  • Group II, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons in the facial peripheral nerve;
  • Group III, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons and other brain cells, microscopic areas of damage, and hardened tissue in the brainstem nuclei, and,
  • Group IV, characterized by muscular symptoms in spite of a lack of lesions in the cranial nerve.
Treatment
Treatment

There is no specific course of treatment for Moebius syndrome. Treatment is supportive and in accordance with symptoms. Infants may require feeding tubes or special bottles to maintain sufficient nutrition. Surgery may correct crossed eyes and improve limb and jaw deformities. Physical and speech therapy often improves motor skills and coordination, and leads to better control of speaking and eating abilities. Plastic reconstructive surgery may be beneficial in some individuals. Nerve and muscle transfers to the corners of the mouth have been performed to provide limited ability to smile.

×
Treatment

There is no specific course of treatment for Moebius syndrome. Treatment is supportive and in accordance with symptoms. Infants may require feeding tubes or special bottles to maintain sufficient nutrition. Surgery may correct crossed eyes and improve limb and jaw deformities. Physical and speech therapy often improves motor skills and coordination, and leads to better control of speaking and eating abilities. Plastic reconstructive surgery may be beneficial in some individuals. Nerve and muscle transfers to the corners of the mouth have been performed to provide limited ability to smile.

Definition
Definition

Moebius syndrome is a rare birth defect caused by the absence or underdevelopment of the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, which control eye movements and facial expression. Many of the other cranial nerves may also be affected, including the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th. The first symptom, present at birth, is an inability to suck. Other symptoms can include: feeding, swallowing, and choking problems; excessive drooling; crossed eyes; lack of facial expression; inability to smile; eye sensitivity; motor delays; high or cleft palate; hearing problems and speech difficulties. Children with Moebius syndrome are unable to move their eyes back and forth. Decreased numbers of muscle fibers have been reported. Deformities of the tongue, jaw, and limbs, such as clubfoot and missing or webbed fingers, may also occur. As children get older, lack of facial expression and inability to smile become the dominant visible symptoms. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of children with Moebius syndrome have some degree of autism.

There are four recognized categories of Moebius syndrome:

  • Group I, characterized by small or absent brain stem nuclei that control the cranial nerves;
  • Group II, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons in the facial peripheral nerve;
  • Group III, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons and other brain cells, microscopic areas of damage, and hardened tissue in the brainstem nuclei, and,
  • Group IV, characterized by muscular symptoms in spite of a lack of lesions in the cranial nerve.
Treatment
Treatment

There is no specific course of treatment for Moebius syndrome. Treatment is supportive and in accordance with symptoms. Infants may require feeding tubes or special bottles to maintain sufficient nutrition. Surgery may correct crossed eyes and improve limb and jaw deformities. Physical and speech therapy often improves motor skills and coordination, and leads to better control of speaking and eating abilities. Plastic reconstructive surgery may be beneficial in some individuals. Nerve and muscle transfers to the corners of the mouth have been performed to provide limited ability to smile.

Prognosis
Prognosis

There is no cure for Moebius syndrome. In spite of the impairments that characterize the disorder, proper care and treatment give many individuals a normal life expectancy.

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There is no cure for Moebius syndrome. In spite of the impairments that characterize the disorder, proper care and treatment give many individuals a normal life expectancy.

Prognosis
Prognosis

There is no cure for Moebius syndrome. In spite of the impairments that characterize the disorder, proper care and treatment give many individuals a normal life expectancy.

Definition

Moebius syndrome is a rare birth defect caused by the absence or underdevelopment of the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, which control eye movements and facial expression. Many of the other cranial nerves may also be affected, including the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th. The first symptom, present at birth, is an inability to suck. Other symptoms can include: feeding, swallowing, and choking problems; excessive drooling; crossed eyes; lack of facial expression; inability to smile; eye sensitivity; motor delays; high or cleft palate; hearing problems and speech difficulties. Children with Moebius syndrome are unable to move their eyes back and forth. Decreased numbers of muscle fibers have been reported. Deformities of the tongue, jaw, and limbs, such as clubfoot and missing or webbed fingers, may also occur. As children get older, lack of facial expression and inability to smile become the dominant visible symptoms. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of children with Moebius syndrome have some degree of autism.

There are four recognized categories of Moebius syndrome:

  • Group I, characterized by small or absent brain stem nuclei that control the cranial nerves;
  • Group II, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons in the facial peripheral nerve;
  • Group III, characterized by loss and degeneration of neurons and other brain cells, microscopic areas of damage, and hardened tissue in the brainstem nuclei, and,
  • Group IV, characterized by muscular symptoms in spite of a lack of lesions in the cranial nerve.
Treatment

There is no specific course of treatment for Moebius syndrome. Treatment is supportive and in accordance with symptoms. Infants may require feeding tubes or special bottles to maintain sufficient nutrition. Surgery may correct crossed eyes and improve limb and jaw deformities. Physical and speech therapy often improves motor skills and coordination, and leads to better control of speaking and eating abilities. Plastic reconstructive surgery may be beneficial in some individuals. Nerve and muscle transfers to the corners of the mouth have been performed to provide limited ability to smile.

Prognosis

There is no cure for Moebius syndrome. In spite of the impairments that characterize the disorder, proper care and treatment give many individuals a normal life expectancy.

What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts and supports a broad range of research on neurogenetic disorders, including Moebius syndrome. The goals of these studies are to develop improved techniques to diagnose, treat, and eventually cure these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Facial Injuries and Disorders

Patient Organizations
Children's Craniofacial Association
13140 Coit Road
Suite 517
Dallas
TX
Dallas, TX 75240
Tel: 800-535-3643; 214-570-9099
March of Dimes
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains
NY
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: 914-997-4488; 888-MODIMES (663-4637)
Moebius Syndrome Foundation
P.O. Box 147
Pilot Grove
MO
Pilot Grove, MO 65276
Tel: 660-834-3406
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury
CT
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100; Voice Mail: 800-999-NORD (6673)