Schizencephaly Information Page

Schizencephaly Information Page


What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts and supports a wide range of studies that explore the mechanisms of normal brain development.  The knowledge gained from these fundamental studies provides the foundation for understanding how to prevent or treat developmental brain defects such as schizencephaly.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Brain Malformations

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What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts and supports a wide range of studies that explore the mechanisms of normal brain development.  The knowledge gained from these fundamental studies provides the foundation for understanding how to prevent or treat developmental brain defects such as schizencephaly.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Brain Malformations

The NINDS conducts and supports a wide range of studies that explore the mechanisms of normal brain development.  The knowledge gained from these fundamental studies provides the foundation for understanding how to prevent or treat developmental brain defects such as schizencephaly.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Brain Malformations

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

Schizencephaly is an extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits, or clefts, in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.  Babies with clefts in both hemispheres (called bilateral clefts) commonly have developmental delays, delays in speech and language skills, and problems with brain-spinal cord communication.  Individuals with clefts in only one hemisphere (called unilateral clefts) are often paralyzed on one side of the body, but may have average to near-average intelligence.  Individuals with schizencephaly may also have an abnormally small head, cognitive delay and impairment, partial or complete paralysis, or poor muscle tone.  Most will experience seizures.  Some individuals may have an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain called hydrocephalus. 

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Definition

Schizencephaly is an extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits, or clefts, in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.  Babies with clefts in both hemispheres (called bilateral clefts) commonly have developmental delays, delays in speech and language skills, and problems with brain-spinal cord communication.  Individuals with clefts in only one hemisphere (called unilateral clefts) are often paralyzed on one side of the body, but may have average to near-average intelligence.  Individuals with schizencephaly may also have an abnormally small head, cognitive delay and impairment, partial or complete paralysis, or poor muscle tone.  Most will experience seizures.  Some individuals may have an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain called hydrocephalus. 

Treatment
Treatment

Treatment generally consists of physical therapy and drugs to prevent seizures.  In cases that are complicated by hydrocephalus, a surgically implanted tube, called a shunt, is often used to divert fluid to another area of the body where it can be absorbed. 

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Treatment

Treatment generally consists of physical therapy and drugs to prevent seizures.  In cases that are complicated by hydrocephalus, a surgically implanted tube, called a shunt, is often used to divert fluid to another area of the body where it can be absorbed. 

Definition
Definition

Schizencephaly is an extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits, or clefts, in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.  Babies with clefts in both hemispheres (called bilateral clefts) commonly have developmental delays, delays in speech and language skills, and problems with brain-spinal cord communication.  Individuals with clefts in only one hemisphere (called unilateral clefts) are often paralyzed on one side of the body, but may have average to near-average intelligence.  Individuals with schizencephaly may also have an abnormally small head, cognitive delay and impairment, partial or complete paralysis, or poor muscle tone.  Most will experience seizures.  Some individuals may have an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain called hydrocephalus. 

Treatment
Treatment

Treatment generally consists of physical therapy and drugs to prevent seizures.  In cases that are complicated by hydrocephalus, a surgically implanted tube, called a shunt, is often used to divert fluid to another area of the body where it can be absorbed. 

Prognosis
Prognosis

The prognosis for individuals with schizencephaly varies depending on the size of the clefts and the extent of neurological disabilities.

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The prognosis for individuals with schizencephaly varies depending on the size of the clefts and the extent of neurological disabilities.

Prognosis
Prognosis

The prognosis for individuals with schizencephaly varies depending on the size of the clefts and the extent of neurological disabilities.

Definition

Schizencephaly is an extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits, or clefts, in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.  Babies with clefts in both hemispheres (called bilateral clefts) commonly have developmental delays, delays in speech and language skills, and problems with brain-spinal cord communication.  Individuals with clefts in only one hemisphere (called unilateral clefts) are often paralyzed on one side of the body, but may have average to near-average intelligence.  Individuals with schizencephaly may also have an abnormally small head, cognitive delay and impairment, partial or complete paralysis, or poor muscle tone.  Most will experience seizures.  Some individuals may have an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain called hydrocephalus. 

Treatment

Treatment generally consists of physical therapy and drugs to prevent seizures.  In cases that are complicated by hydrocephalus, a surgically implanted tube, called a shunt, is often used to divert fluid to another area of the body where it can be absorbed. 

Prognosis

The prognosis for individuals with schizencephaly varies depending on the size of the clefts and the extent of neurological disabilities.

What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts and supports a wide range of studies that explore the mechanisms of normal brain development.  The knowledge gained from these fundamental studies provides the foundation for understanding how to prevent or treat developmental brain defects such as schizencephaly.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Brain Malformations

Patient Organizations
March of Dimes
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains
NY
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: 914-997-4488; 888-MODIMES (663-4637)
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington
DC
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: 800-695-0285; 202-884-8200
The Arc of the United States
1825 K Street, NW
Suite 1200
Washington
DC
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: 202-534-3700; 800-433-5255
Publications

Porencephaly information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Microcephaly information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Cephalic disorders information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Patient Organizations