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Updated December 03, 2008



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Definition: Microcephaly is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which the head is much smaller than average for the person's age and gender. Microcephaly may be congenital (present at birth) or it may develop in the first few years of life. The skull and brain do not grow at a normal rate, which causes a smaller-than-normal head.

Microcephaly is present in certain genetic disorders and syndromes such as

It can also be caused by the use of certain drugs during pregnancy, infections in the mother during pregnancy, or severe malnutrition of an infant.


"Microcephaly." MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. 9 Nov 2007. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 29 Nov 2008

Pronunciation: my-kro-SEF-a-lee
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