Moebius Syndrome is characterised by a facial paralysis. People with Moebius Syndrome cannot smile or frown. They often have difficulty blinking and have no lateral movement of the eye.
The syndrome can also be associated with other physical problems affecting other parts of the body.
Moebius Syndrome is an extremely rare condition.
In this syndrome, two major nerves, the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, are not completely developed, resulting in a paralysis of the muscles of the face and eyes. The 6th and 7th cranial nerves are normally responsible for facial expression, blinking, and for lateral eye movements. Several of the other 12 cranial nerves may also be affected, including the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th nerves.
The most obvious symptoms are those related to facial expression. In newborn babies, the first clinical sign is a decrease in sucking ability. This is sometimes accompanied by excessive drooling and/or strabismus (squinting). A deformity of the tongue or jaw, or of the limbs (club foot, missing or webbed fingers) may also be present. Many children with Moebius Syndrome suffer from weak muscle tone, particularly in the upper body.Symptoms can include:
Although children with Moebius Syndrome are often late in walking, they generally catch up. Speech therapy is very helpful in dealing with elocution problems, however these difficulties can persist due to the limited movements of the tongue and the lips. As the children get older, the dominant visible symptoms are the absence of facial expression and the inability to smile. Moebius Syndrome can also be associated with Pierre Robin syndrome and the Poland syndrome.
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