Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum

Introducing agenesis of the corpus callosum

Ever heard of agenesis of the corpus callosum? There is a broad band of nerve fibers in the human brain which connect the left and the right hemispheres. When one organ of the body fails to develop perfectly, there is said to be agenesis. Therefore, ACC is a health condition in which the connections between the left and the right hemispheres of the brain do not connect properly. Agenesis of the corpus callosum is a birth defect.

A child born with agenesis of the corpus callosum will likely grow and survive it. Nevertheless, the condition poses threats of other health issues at a later age of the child.

Among all other instances of cerebral malformation, agenesis of the corpus callosum is the commonest. But it is actually a rare disorder. Agenesis of the corpus callosum has other names. These are:

  • Dysgenesia of the corpus callosum
  • Partial corpus callosum agenesis
  • Hypoplasia of the corpus callosum
  • Hypogenesis of the corpus callosum

What causes agenesis of the corpus callosum?

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum is congenital. What this means is that a person is born with the defect. There are, however, factors that raise the risk of baby being born with the abnormality.

One of the risk factors for corpus callosum agenesis is exposure to some kind of medications. Remember, the corpus callosum of a fetus is formed at the later part of the first trimester of pregnancy. If an expectant mother takes such drugs as valproate during this time, the medication will likely influence the defect. If the expectant mother takes alcohol or hard drugs during this time, it will equally contribute to the malformation. Another possible factor during pregnancy is the case of a mother developing a viral infection in the course of the pregnancy.

Abnormalities and damages in chromosomes are also risk factors for corpus callosum agenesis. One of such defects is a situation whereby a child develops 3 copies of chromosome 8, 13, or 18 against 2.

Most times, corpus callosum agenesis occurs in the company of other defects. If, for example, a child’s brain develops cysts, the corpus callosum might develop an imperfect growth. There are other brain related conditions that can accompany corpus callosum malformation. They are mostly genetic disorders. Some of them are:

  • Andermann syndrome
  • Acrocallosal syndrome
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Dandy-Walker syndrome
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Aicardi syndrome
  • Schizencephaly
  • Holoprosencephaly

Symptoms of agenesis of the corpus callosum

  • Often, corpus callosum agenesis does not have outrageous symptoms. What it majorly does is to slow down the pace of development in a child. The delay might be severe, it might be mild. Some of the symptoms or areas affected by the corpus callosum malformation include:
  • Delay in the development of motor skills of a child. Motor skills include walking, sitting or hopping.
  • It equally has the potentials of causing difficulties in feeding, particularly with swallowing of food.
  • Poor coordination
  • Delays in the development of language and speech for expressive communication.
  • Cognitive impairment. This is very rare as most of the individuals with the defect can still boast of normal intelligence.
  • Difficulties in sleeping
  • Seizures
  • Problems with vision
  • Hearing impairment
  • Chronic constipation
  • Low muscle tone
  • Fearfulness
  • High tolerance for pains
  • Social immaturity
  • Difficulty seeing other people’s points of view
  • Problem interpreting facial expressions
  • Poor understanding of slang, idioms, or social cues
  • Trouble making abstract reasoning
  • Obsessive behaviors
  • Trouble telling truth from fallacy
  • Difficulties in paying attention

Diagnosis for ACC

Fortunately, a malformation of the corpus callosum can be detected before a child is born, when a prenatal ultrasound scan is conducted. If the scan reveals some potential signs, an MRI might be conducted to have an accurate diagnosis.

There are, however, situations where the ultrasound scan fails to pick up the signs before birth. But if the doctor holds a suspicion about such possibilities, a CT scan or an MRI will be conducted.

Is there a treatment for corpus callosum malformation?

Unfortunately, corpus callosum agenesis has no cure. However, the doctor can make a prescription for medicine to manage the condition. For instance, a prescription can be made to arrest seizures. If need be, speech, physical and social therapies may be recommended. These measures are just to help the individual manage the symptoms.

ACC in the long term

An individual with a malformed corpus callosum can live long and healthy. This, however, depends on how mild or severe the condition is. This is the case given the appropriate diagnosis and treatment options. The doctor should be able to make correct predictions about the future for a person with ACC.

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