Polymicrogyria: Our New Reality

According to the National Institute of Health, Polymicrogyria is a condition characterized by abnormal development of the brain before birth. The surface of your brain normally has many ridges/folds (gyri) but in those affected by PMG, the folds are unusually small and there are more than normal.

PMG affects everyone differently; it can be one sided or bilateral as well as affecting one or more regions.
The mildest form with the most optimistic outlook is unilateral focal; this means that it is only in one place on the brain, affecting very little of the brain. Those with this type often go on to lead completely normal lives. Some find out in the 30’s or 40’s due to sudden onset of seizures without cause.

As the areas affected grow, the “problem list” does as well.
Signs and symptoms can include epilepsy, delayed development, crossed eyes, problems with speech and swallowing, and muscle weakness or paralysis.

Henry’s is bilateral multifocal; there is a small area on several lobes on both sides. He has a spot on his frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes. What this means for his future is unclear. There are several wonderful good things happening for him though. He does not have problems with swallowing, his eyes have been cleared by Opthamology and are just fine. As of yet we haven’t had any seizure activity. He has a small amount of muscle weakness in his trunk but he has plenty of mobility using his legs. Developmentally, he appears to be only slightly delayed. He responds to voices, he makes eye contact, he laughs. He’s not yet grasping toys or grabbing for things, but this is mainly due to having high muscle tone in his extremeties.

High muscle tone- hypertonicity– is often seen with cerebal palsy children. Their muscles are always contracted and they are very tight. Henry’s arms tend to stay bent and require a lot of manipulation to get them to relax. He has high muscle tone in his hips as well, which causes them to turn outward.

This post has been a very long and probably boring one that I packed a lot of information in to that may not make much sense.
I felt as though all of ^^^THAT^^^ needed to be said before we could continue though.

I encourage you to comment with questions. If you know, you are an advocate too. If you are aware, you can spread the knowledge. None of this has been done in vain.

For more information on PMG, please visit http://www.PMGAwareness.org or http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/polymicrogyria

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