Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Dandy-Walker Syndrome

Get Email Updates

Dandy-Walker Syndrome Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Dandy-Walker Syndrome: A Malformation of the Brain

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
Rate This

Unfortunately, Dandy-Walker Syndrome (DWS) belies its sprightly sounding name. In actuality, it is a malformation in the cerebellum and the area around it.

The cerebellum is located in the back part of the brain. It controls movement and cognition (ability to think).

Dandy-Walker Syndrome affects the fourth ventricle which is a channel for fluid to move between certain areas of the brain and the spinal cord.

The space for the fluid around the brain is abnormally large and pressure within from an overabundance of cerebrospinal fluid is the result.

The corpus callosum which connects the cerebral hemispheres, and the cerebellar vermis which lies between the hemispheres of the cerebellum, may be partially or totally missing.

Dandy-Walker Syndrome has its origins during brain development before the baby is born. Approximately 1 in 25,000 babies will have DWS.

The disorder can develop slowly or can appear suddenly. Symptoms generally will begin to show up in infancy or childhood.

A variety of malfunctions may emerge which affect the central nervous system.

As the circumference of the skull increases the back of the skull may bulge out. As the child becomes older, and their skull is under greater pressure from within, they may experience convulsions and vomiting, deteriorating muscle coordination, and unsteadiness.

Motor development is slow. Balance will become shaky and fine motor control will decrease.

Hearing and vision may be negatively affected, with eye movements becoming jerky and poorly controlled. Breathing problems can appear.

Heart malformations and problems with the kidneys and urinary tract may occur. Deformities of the face, such as a cleft lip, and abnormalities in the arms and legs are not uncommon. The individual may have extra fingers or toes.

Over half of all children with DWS will have diminished intellectual development to the point of mental retardation, while others will develop normal cognitive abilities.

There is no cure for Dandy-Walker Syndrome at the present time. But some treatments are available to help handle some of its symptoms.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1637 Health

Changed

610 Lives

Saved

458 Lives
4 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do your teens have their own cellphones?:
View Results