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Aicardi syndrome

Agenesis of corpus callosum with chorioretinal abnormality; Agenesis of corpus callosum with infantile spasms and ocular abnormalities; Callosal agenesis and ocular abnormalities; Chorioretinal anomalies with ACC

 

Aicardi syndrome is a rare disorder. In this condition, the structure that connects the two sides of the brain (called the corpus callosum) is partly or completely missing. Nearly all known cases occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family (sporadic).

Causes

 

The cause of Aicardi syndrome is unknown at this time. In some cases, experts believe it may be a result of a gene defect on the X chromosome.

The disorder affects only girls.

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms most often start when the child is between ages 3 and 5 months. The condition causes jerking (infantile spasms), a type of childhood seizure.

Aicardi syndrome may occur with other brain defects.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Coloboma (cat's eye)
  • Intellectual disability
  • Smaller-than-normal eyes (microphthalmia)

 

Exams and Tests

 

Children are diagnosed with Aicardi syndrome if they meet the following criteria:

  • Corpus callosum that is partly or completely missing
  • Female sex
  • Seizures (typically beginning as infantile spasms)
  • Sores on the retina (retinal lesions) or optic nerve

In rare cases, one of these features may be missing (especially lack of development of the corpus callosum).

Tests to diagnose Aicardi syndrome include:

  • CT scan of the head
  • EEG
  • Eye exam
  • MRI

Other procedures and tests may be done, depending on the person.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment is done to help prevent symptoms. It involves managing seizures and any other health concerns. Treatment uses programs to help the family and child cope with delays in development.

 

Support Groups

 

Aicardi Syndrome Foundation -- ouraicardilife.org

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) -- www.rarediseases.org

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

The outlook depends on how severe the symptoms are and what other health conditions are present.

Nearly all children with this syndrome have severe learning difficulties and remain completely dependent on others. However, a few have some language abilities and some can walk on their own or with support. Vision varies from normal to blind.

 

Possible Complications

 

Complications depend on the severity of symptoms.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your health care provider if your child has symptoms of Aicardi syndrome. Seek emergency care if the infant is having spasms or a seizure.

 

 

References

Beres S. Aicardi syndrome. American Academy of Ophthalmology Web site. www.aao.org/pediatric-center-detail/neuro-ophthalmology-aicardi-syndrome. Accessed September 27, 2016.

Kinsman SL, Johnston MV. Congenital anomalies of the central nervous system. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 591.

US National Library of Medicine. Aicardi syndrome. Updated September 20, 2016. ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/aicardi-syndrome. Accessed September 27, 2016.

 
  • Corpus callosum of the brain

    Corpus callosum of the brain - illustration

    The corpus callosum is the structure deep in the brain that connects the right and left hemispheres of the cerebrum, coordinating the functions of the two halves.

    Corpus callosum of the brain

    illustration

    • Corpus callosum of the brain

      Corpus callosum of the brain - illustration

      The corpus callosum is the structure deep in the brain that connects the right and left hemispheres of the cerebrum, coordinating the functions of the two halves.

      Corpus callosum of the brain

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Talking to your MD

       

        Self Care

         

          Tests for Aicardi syndrome

           

             

            Review Date: 8/31/2016

            Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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