1st year medical English
of “Vasile Goldis” University
Cranial defects are some of the most serious birth defects affecting children today, due to the potential for these birth defects to cause significant damage to the skull and brain. One of the most common types of cranial defects is a congenital malformation called craniosynostosis. In children born with craniosynostosis, the cranial sutures close earlier than normal, causing an abnormal growth of the child's skull. Cranial sutures are the joints separating each section of the child's skull which allow the cranium to remain elastic enough to accommodate normal brain growth. Unfortunately, when these sutures close prematurely, that particular part of the skull is unable to grow normally and will result in a misshapen head. Although the causes of many cases of craniosynostosis are unknown, studies have indicated that children exposed to certain pharmaceutical drugs during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing cranial birth defects like craniosynostosis. Some medications may interrupt the growth of a fetus in utero, potentially resulting in severe fetal malformations like craniosynostosis.
Some birth defects occur randomly without any known cause. One of the most common causes for cranial defects, however, is a response from taking specific prescription medications. There are a number of medications that have been linked to an increased risk in birth defects, especially birth defects relating to the skull and brain. Some examples of these medications include Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. When these antidepressant medications are taken during the first trimester of a pregnancy, they can lead to the potential for birth defects.There are other causes for premature fusion of the sutures in the baby’s skull, including biomechanical factors such as constraint of the fetal head during the pregnancy and environmental factors such as maternal smoking or...