Dandy-Walker Syndrome

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What is Dandy-Walker syndrome?

Dandy-Walker syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by an unusual formation between the cerebellum and the fluid-filled spaces around it. The cerebellum is in the back part of the brain and controls movement. The disorder is sometimes associated with an absence of the corpus callosum, which is the area made up of nerve fibers connecting the two sides of the brain. Symptoms of Dandy-Walker syndrome may include:

In babies:

  • Slow development of motor skills (the ability to control movements)
  • Progressive growth of the skull

In older children:

  • Pressure in the skull
  • Irritability
  • Throwing up
  • Having a hard time with balance or controlling muscle movements
  • Unusual eye movements

Dandy-Walker syndrome can cause unusual development of the head, heart, face, arms, or legs—although some children may never have symptoms. Treatment focuses on symptoms. Surgery may help get rid of extra fluid that causes some of the symptoms, and physical and other forms of therapy can help with managing symptoms.

Learn About Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.

How can I or my loved one help improve care for people with Dandy-Walker syndrome?

Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about Dandy-Walker syndrome and related disorders. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

All types of volunteers are needed—those who are healthy or may have an illness or disease—of all different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that study results apply to as many people as possible, and that treatments will be safe and effective for everyone who will use them.

For information about participating in clinical research visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. Learn about clinical trials currently looking for people with Dandy-Walker syndrome at Clinicaltrials.gov.

Where can I find more information about Dandy-Walker syndrome?

Information may be available from the following resources:

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center


National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

Order publications from the NINDS Catalog
The NINDS Publication Catalog offers printed materials on neurological disorders for patients, health professionals, and the general public. All materials are free of charge, and a downloadable PDF version is also available for most publications.