Study to investigate the behavioural, cognitive and neurological impairments associated with craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly
In 2012, we received a piece of news regarding USA research on craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly. This article highlighted the Department of Pediatric Psychiatry at Seattle Children’s Hospital’s participation in an NIH-funded study of the neurobehavioral correlates of craniosynostosis. This craniofacial disorder is characterized by the premature fusion of two adjoining plates of the skull, which result in malformations and dysmorphology of the head in the absence of corrective surgery.
Plagiocephaly and craniosynostosis are both conditions that result in skull deformities. Because of this they are often confused, but there are a number of key features that define each one as distinct from the other. Here we outline the difference between plagiocephaly and craniosynostosis to help give you an idea of their distinguishing features.
Scaphocephaly is the word used to describe a narrow head shape and can be associated with flat head syndrome. The umbrella term for a long thin head shape is referred to as dolicehocephaly, scaphocephaly is caused by the early fusion of the sagittal suture which runs from front to back at the top of the skull. Early fusion of a suture in infancy is called a synostosis and this type is the most common form of craniosynotosis.
Craniosynotosis is a rare condition, found in around three in every 10,000 babies at birth. Craniosynotosis occurs when the joints (sutures) that join the plates which make up a baby’s skull prematurely fuse together. During birth, the sutures need to be flexible to aid the natural birthing process and they need to continue to remain open to allow the brain to grow naturally within the skull.