Sturge-Weber syndrome symptoms & causes in children

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What causes Sturge-Weber syndrome?

The cause is unknown. It’s not thought to be inherited. Researchers believe that the skin lesions result from a mutation of an unknown gene or genes.

What are the symptoms of Sturge-Weber syndrome?

The classic symptom of the disease is a port wine stain located on your child's face, typically near or around her eye and forehead, which may vary in color from red to dark purple. Although rare, it's possible for a child to have Sturge-Weber syndrome without a facial port wine stain.

Other symptoms can include:

  • angiomas (benign tumors) on the surface of the brain leading to seizures
  • hemiparesis (weakness or paralysis on one side of the body) on the side of the body opposite to the port wine stain
  • developmental delays and glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve) on the side of the port wine stain

It's important to remember that if your child does have a facial port wine stain, it doesn't necessarily mean she will have neurological abnormalities. In fact, only 8 percent of children with a facial port wine stain have neurological problems.

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