ABC Medical Center > Microcephaly

What is Microcephaly?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a neurological malformation in which the baby has a significant reduction in the size of the head compared to normal dimensions at that stage of life.

If detected at birth, it is likely due to abnormal brain growth in the gestation process, or if identified later, it is the result of poor development during infancy in which the head simply stops growing.

Microcephaly is a condition that can be due to various genetic and environmental factors, as well as:

  • Down syndrome.
  • Craniosynostosis.
  • Lack of nutrients during pregnancy.
  • Drugs, alcohol, or chemicals.
  • Phenylketonuric mother.
  • Toxoplasmosis.
  • Measles.
  • Rubella.
  • Chickenpox.
  • Zika.
  • Lack of enough oxygen to the baby’s brain during pregnancy or childbirth.

Signs and symptoms Microcephaly

The characteristic symptoms consist of:

  • A much smaller head than average.
  • Physical disabilities.
  • Forehead tilted backwards in severe cases.
  • Learning problems.

Potential risks:

Depending on the origin and seriousness of microcephaly, the following may occur:

  • Seizures.
  • Poor coordination and balance.
  • Intellect impairment.
  • Strange gestures.
  • Reduced stature.
  • Hyperactivity
  • Delays in expression and movement.

Diagnosis and treatment Microcephaly

Once the specialist performs a physical examination and analyzes the family medical history, they will measure the baby’s head to compare it with a growth chart, making timely follow-ups.

You may also decide to measure the parent’s head to establish if it is due to a family trait. If your child has been developmentally impaired, the doctor will most likely order blood, urine, and genetic tests, as well as imaging studies such as MRI and CT scans, in order to establish the cause of the delay.

If your child suffers from craniosynostosis, they will perform surgery to correct the anomaly, but in other cases, there is no therapy that solves the problems caused by microcephaly, so the treatment will focus on achieving control of the condition through various support programs, such as speech and occupational therapy, as well as physiotherapy, which will seek to give the child a better quality of life.

If there are convulsive or hyperactive episodes, they can be treated with different drugs.

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.


Nervous system specialties

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


  • clevelandclinic.org
  • topdoctors.es
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • stanfordchildrens.org
  • medigraphic.com
  • Soriano TM, Méndez RLA, Barrios MA, et al. Microcefalia: signo clínico común en patologías de origen genético o infeccioso que provocan inestabilidad cromosómica. Rev Cub Gen . 2017;11(3):15-18.
  • Garza-Mayén G, Fiesco-Roa M, Frías S, et al. Microcefalia: consideraciones para el abordaje diagnóstico. Acta Pediatr Mex. 2020;41(5):222-230.
  • Montaño-Pérez CM, Mendoza-Sánchez V, Cazarez-Ortiz M. Microcefalia asociada a síndrome de transfusión feto-fetal. Rev Mex Pediatr. 2019;86(4):159-161. doi:10.35366/SP194G.
  • del Carpio-Orantes L, González-Clemente MC. Microcefalia y arbovirus. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2018;56(2):186-188.

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.