Flat Head Syndrome and the Nature vs. Nurture Debate
Is Flat Head Genetic?
Flat head syndrome is usually attributed to external pressures on the skull. Consistently resting the head in the same position while sleeping, sitting and playing can eventually cause a flat spot to emerge in babies. Flattening can also begin to occur before or during birth, often as a result of breech position or crowding in the womb, or when forceps are used during an assisted birth. But, is flat head syndrome genetic to some degree, or is it caused exclusively by these external pressures on the skull? (more…)
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.
Flat head syndrome specialist Steve Mottram discusses the options that are available for reducing the incidence and severity of deformational plagiocephaly
The subject of flat head syndrome has been dividing the medical community both in the UK and internationally since the Back to Sleep Campaign of 1992 saw its incidence rise. There are two distinct schools of thought: advocates of ‘it’s only cosmetic’, and those recommending specialist treatments. (more…)
Parents are often left in the dark about treatment options that are available to them for Plagiocephaly. We have created a plagiocephaly presentation that aims to provide parents, carers and healthcare professionals with the basic information they need in order to correct this common condition before it becomes severe. As well as this, providing a detailed summary of the presentation.
How does plagiocephaly affect the head and face?
Plagiocephaly is predominantly identified by a flattening either at the back or to either side of the skull. As a direct result of this flattening, facial features can become misaligned and other issues may develop. The facial features subject to the most change include the eyes and the ears. As such, facial asymmetry is also regarded as a good indication of plagiocephaly.
Do cranial helmets influence ear position in babies with plagiocephaly?
In 2012, a paper was published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery exploring whether or not helmet therapy, such as TiMband treatment, influences the ear position in babies with positional plagiocephaly.
This is a question that we are often asked but it’s a difficult one to answer, as the changes can be so subtle.
Forums like BabyCenter reveal that many parents are concerned about a potential link between plagiocephaly and development delay. It seems that a number of children who have experienced plagiocephaly can also have other neurodevelopmental issues but with little research conducted in this area, a cause-and-effect relationship between plagiocephaly and neural development can be difficult for parents and healthcare professionals to establish.
A revolutionary study published last month supports the use of helmet therapy in the treatment of flat head syndrome. What does this mean for you and your baby, asks Steve Mottram, Consultant Orthotist and Managing Director of Technology in Motion, and why does the advice provided to parents remain so inadequate?
Ever seen a baby wearing what appears to be a crash helmet and wondered why? Unless you happened upon a particularly accident-prone child, chances are (s)he was undergoing helmet therapy for flat head syndrome. (more…)
Facial asymmetry can be one of the most noticeable symptoms of plagiocephaly. As the skull flattens on one side, the facial features may be pushed out of alignment, causing the jaw, ears and eyes to look lopsided. The question is, can facial asymmetry be improved with treatment or is it permanent? (more…)