primary microcephaly, secondary microcephaly

What is microcephaly?

Microcephaly is a rare lifelong condition where a person’s head is smaller than expected.

Usually, even a baby is born with a smaller head than average (primary microcephaly), or the baby’s head is the expected size at birth, but then stops growing (secondary microcephaly).

What causes microcephaly?

There are a few potential causes of microcephaly. These include:

  • Infections during pregnancy such as the Zika virus
  • Genetic abnormalities

There is no treatment for microcephaly, but early intervention can improve the person’s quality of life.

What are the symptoms of microcephaly?

Symptoms that can be associated with microcephaly include:

  • Seizures
  • Balance issues
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision problems

Depending on the severity of their microcephaly, some babies will need treatment and care to manage these symptoms and other health problems that may arise.

People with mild microcephaly will often only experience a smaller head.

Are you affected by microcephaly?

If you’re affected by microcephaly, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with microcephaly, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with microcephaly from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone affected by microcephaly

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with microcephaly? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including microcephaly, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The library at the Brain Charity has a range of resources on disability related issues.

Support groups

Parents of Children with Microcephaly Facebook Support Group

Other charities

Cerebra (charity for children with neurological conditions)

Website: cerebra.org.uk

Helpline (freephone): 0800 328 1159