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Dandy-Walker Syndrome

What is Dandy-Walker Syndrome?

Dandy-Walker syndrome is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum and the fluid filled spaces around it. The cerebellum is an area at the back of the brain that controls movement.

Children with Dandy-Walker syndrome may never have normal intellectual development. The length of their life span depends on the severity of the syndrome and associated malformations. The presence of multiple congenital defects may shorten life span.

Dandy-Walker syndrome is frequently associated with disorders of other areas of the central nervous system including absence of the connecting area between the two cerebral hemispheres, and malformations of the heart, face, limbs, fingers and toes.

Dandy-Walker Syndrome is also called: Dandy-Walker Malformation, Dandy-Walker Cyst, Dandy-Walker Deformity, DWM, Hydrocephalus, Internal, Dandy-Walker Type, Hydrocephalus, Noncommunicating, Dandy-Walker Type, Luschka-Magendie Foramina Atresia.

Symptoms of Dandy-Walker Syndrome

Symptoms of Dandy-Walker syndrome vary according to age. Symptoms that appear in early infancy include: slow motor development and an abnormally enlarged skull. In older children symptoms include: irritability, vomiting, convulsions, ataxia and jerky eyes.

Other common symptoms of Dandy-Walker syndrome are:

  • increased head circumference
  • a head bulge at the back of the skull
  • problems with the nerves that control the eyes, face and neck
  • abnormal breathing patterns

Can Dandy-Walker Syndrome be Treated?

Yes. Treatments for Dandy-Walker syndrome are aimed at controlling and reducing the symptoms. In some cases, a special tube to reduce intracranial pressure may be placed inside the skull to control swelling.

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