Infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy (INAD) is a rare inherited disorder affecting the nerve axons (which are responsible for conducting messages) in the brain and other parts of the body, causing a progressive loss of vision and of physical and mental skills.
Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLC1) is a very rare disorder affecting the ‘white matter’ of the brain, often leading to progressive loss of physical, and sometimes mental, skills over very many years.
This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains the neurological condition Vein of Galen Malformation (VGM). It aims to help understanding the condition, how it can be treated and what to expect when a child is admitted to GOSH.
In early development, the brain and spinal cord start as a tube-like structure called the ‘neural tube’ that is open at either end. These openings close within the first weeks of pregnancy, and the neural tube continues to grow and fold, eventually forming the brain and spinal cord.
Myelomeningocele is a type of spina bifida. This is when the neural tube has failed to close and the neural tissue is exposed on the baby’s back. The myelomeningocele will look like a sac sticking out from a baby’s back.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a watery liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, acting as a ‘cushion’. It also supplies nutrients to the brain. Hydrocephalus occurs when either too much CSF is produced (very rare), or when it is stopped from circulating or being re-absorbed. The CSF builds up within the ventricles (cavities) of the brain resulting in increased pressure on the brain. In babies, this also causes the head to enlarge
In the womb, the retina (the light sensitive surface at the back of the eye that converts images into nerve signals that the brain understands) develops slowly and the retinal blood vessels often only complete growing by the end of gestation. If a child is born prematurely these blood vessels can grow abnormally causing damage to the retina and of course vision. This is called retinopathy of prematurity.
Optic neuritis (ON) is an attack of inflammation (swelling) of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is important in sending information from the eye to the brain about what we are seeing. ON is caused by the body’s immune system becoming mis-programmed and activating immune cells to attack the healthy myelin covering the optic nerve.