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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Doctors typically diagnose microcephaly by:
If your child has the congenital form of microcephaly — arising before birth — it might be possible to detect the disorder with a prenatal ultrasound during the third trimester of pregnancy. Smaller-than-normal head size is usually not obvious until the third trimester.
If a child has microcephaly that involves some degree of learning disability or other impairment, we may suggest brain imaging tests to get further information, such as:
If your child has symptoms other than small head size, such as seizures or problems with hearing or vision, we may suggest further testing.
If a genetic cause of microcephaly is suspected, we may suggest genetic testing. Several hundred genes have been linked with microcephaly and more continue to be discovered. Over time, as more children have genetic testing, it may be possible to group children according to their particular genetic form of microcephaly and better predict how they will do over time.
After we complete all necessary tests, we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and make recommendations for your child’s care.
Did you know?
The Brain Development and Genetics Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital is studying the genetic causes of microcephaly. Meet one family touched by the clinic's work.
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.”