“Hydranencephaly (or hydroanencephaly) is a congenital condition in which the brain’s cerebral hemispheres are absent to varying degrees and the resulting empty cranial cavity is filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Hydranencephaly is one of several types of cephalic disorders. These disorders derive from either damage to, or abnormal development of, the fetal nervous system in the earliest stages of development in utero. Cephalic is the medical term for “head” or “head end of body.” This particular rare neurological condition, an extreme form of porencephaly, occurs after the 12th week of pregnancy, after the brain has begun developing.

Hydranencephaly does not have any definitive identifiable cause factor. As with all cephalic conditions, there is an obvious interruption in normal development of the nervous system. A traumatic occurrence of sorts, resulting in prenatal stroke, is believed to be the primary cause of hydranencephaly. Some possibilities include: intrauterine infection, environmental exposure to toxins, vascular insult of another nature, and twin-to-twin transfusion.  Some researchers have also suggested the possibility of a genetic component, though only one case has been documented in which a family has been presented this diagnosis for more than one child.” Read More


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