Schizencephaly is a rare congenital brain abnormality characterized by abnormal clefts or openings in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. These clefts can occur on one or both sides of the brain and can vary in size and shape. Schizencephaly is caused by abnormal development of the cerebral cortex during fetal development.
Schizencephaly can be divided into two types:
Open-lip schizencephaly: This type of schizencephaly is characterized by a cleft or gap in the cerebral cortex that is lined by gray matter.
Closed-lip schizencephaly: This type of schizencephaly is characterized by a cleft or gap in the cerebral cortex that is lined by white matter.
Symptoms of schizencephaly can vary depending on the severity and location of the clefts in the brain. Common symptoms may include developmental delays, intellectual disability, seizures, muscle weakness or paralysis, and vision or hearing problems.
Treatment for schizencephaly typically involves management of symptoms and complications. Treatment may include anticonvulsant medications to manage seizures, physical therapy to improve muscle strength and coordination, and speech therapy to improve communication skills. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct structural abnormalities or to treat complications such as hydrocephalus (a buildup of fluid in the brain).