Brain defects are a devastating type of birth defect that occur in thousands of babies each year. Cranial defects (pertaining to the head) can be life-threatening, life-changing and even fatal. As the control center of the body, the brain must perform thousands of functions every moment of our lives, and a brain defect can cause grave limitations in a child's life.
Types of Brain Defects
There are many specific types of brain defects too many to mention here, but like other birth defects, brain defects can be divided into two main categories:
- Structural (brain) defects — when one or more parts of the brain are malformed, absent or malfunctioning
- Functional (brain) defects — when one or more aspect of the brain's functioning is hampered by a defect
What Causes These Congenital Malformations?
Congenital malformations can be caused by a genetic problem, such as a missing gene or chromosome, or they may be traced to external factors such as the mother's illness during the pregnancy (e.g., rubella or measles) or the mother's use of alcohol or drugs during the pregnancy. Some brain defects may be the result of both genetic and external factors, and for a great number of brain defects, the cause is unknown.
What Are the Long-Term Complications?
A brain defect can present long-term complications such as:
- Behavioral disorders
- Degenerative disorders (e.g., muscular dystrophy)
- Learning disabilities
- Mental retardation
- Metabolic disorders (e.g., hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria)
- Movement difficulties
- Sensory problems (e.g., blindness, deafness)
- Speech difficulties
Contact a Birth Defect Attorney
Our birth defect attorneys have experience protecting the legal rights of children who were born with a congenital brain defect or other type of birth defect. Not all cases of birth defects can be traced to an external factor such as a medication used during the mother's pregnancy. But, when it could be possible that a prescription medication could have caused a birth defect, the mother will likely be entitled to compensation.
If your child has a birth defect and you are concerned about the prescription medication that you took during your pregnancy, it's a good idea to speak with a birth defect attorney to discuss your concerns and the circumstances of your case. You may be able to recover compensation that could help ensure your child receives the highest quality of life.