Type of disease: Rare conditions
Encephalocele is a rare birth defect where the bones in an infants skull does not form correctly leaving a gap or hole in the bone. This gap remains covered in skin and/or muscle, but brain tissue is able to protrude through the gap producing a sac-like protrusion in the head. Encephalocele frontal is when this occurs in the front of the skull, in the area of the nose, sinuses, or forehead. However, other types of encephaloceles can also exist in the base, top, or back of the skull. An encephalocele can cause to much fluid to build up around the brain (hydrocephalus), loss of strength in the arms or legs, visual problems, growth retardation, intellectual disability or seizures. Surgery is the most common form of treatment to replace the protruding brain tissue inside the skull and to close the hole. The CDC estimates that each year about 375 babies in the United States are born with encephalocele.