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What is lissencephaly?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Lissencephaly, which literally means "smooth brain," is a rare, gene-linked brain malformation characterized by the absence of normal convolutions (folds) in the cerebral cortex and an abnormally small head (microcephaly). It is caused during embryonic development by defective neuronal migration, the process in which nerve cells move from their place of origin to their permanent location. Symptoms of the disorder may include unusual facial appearance, difficulty swallowing, failure to thrive, muscle spasms, seizures, and severe psychomotor retardation. Hands, fingers, or toes may be deformed. Lissencephaly may be associated with other diseases, including isolated lissencephaly sequence, Miller-Dieker syndrome, and Walker-Warburg syndrome.

This Answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke .

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.