#1 Ranked Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report
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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
When a child has microcephaly, the brain develops abnormally, causing the head to be much smaller than expected for the child's age. ("Micro" means "small," while "cephaly" comes from the Greek word for "head.") Some children with microcephaly have developmental problems or learning disabilities because of a smaller brain size. Microcephaly is relatively rare, though it is estimated that—about 25,000 children in the U.S. are born with microcephaly each year.
Microcephaly is often congenital — meaning present at birth — but can also occur later during infancy. It can have several causes, from genetic problems to prenatal exposure to viruses such as Zika. For more information about the connection between the Zika virus and microcephaly, download 5 Things to Know About Microcephaly.
While there is no specific treatment for microcephaly, early intervention (such as physical, speech and occupational therapy) can help brain connections grow.
Boston Children’s Hospital has a long history of caring for children with brain and nervous system disorders. Clinicians in our Department of Neurology, Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Genetics and Genomics are international leaders in understanding and treating rare conditions like microcephaly. Our Fetal-Neonatal Neurology Program and Brain Development and Genetics Clinic also specializes in diagnosing, studying and managing microcephaly.
Our care also has a research component. Physicians and scientists in our Brain Development and Genetics Clinic are working hard to understand how and why microcephaly develops, in hopes of one day introducing new therapies. The clinic is actively enrolling patients to understand the effects of different genetic mutations that cause microcephaly.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”