Brain Imaging of Children with Craniosynostosis and Plagiocephaly

October 1, 2012

New study to investigate the behavioural, cognitive and neurological impairments associated with craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly

CraniosynostosisWe have just received this piece of news regarding USA research on craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly.

The Department of Pediatric Psychiatry at Seattle Children’s Hospital is participating in an NIH-funded study of the neurobehavioral correlates of craniosynostosis, a craniofacial disorder characterized by premature fusion of two adjoining plates of the skull, which result in malformations and dysmorphology of the head in the absence of corrective surgery.

Infants with craniosynostosis have been followed post-surgically to determine if there are any cognitive, behavioral, or neurological impairments associated with the condition. Dr. Aylward is performing MRI measurements on brain scans from these children, now seven years of age, to determine whether any brain malformations can be identified and, if so, how they relate to behavioral, cognitive, and neurological impairments.

As part of a NIH-funded study investigating neurodevelopment in babies with DP, a subgroup of cases were imaged using MRI scans of children with deformational plagiocephaly (DP). This is another craniofacial disorder that involves cranial asymmetry attributable to external forces (prenatal or postnatal) that shape the malleable infant skull.

Although DP is typically considered a benign and purely cosmetic condition, emerging evidence suggests that infants with DP may be more at risk of developmental delays, particularly in motor development. MRI measures are being performed to determine whether abnormal skull shape is associated with abnormal brain shape, volume, or regional abnormalities, and if so, how these brain abnormalities are linked with behavioural or cognitive impairment.

The original article can be found here.