News about a baby boy whose head has swollen to more than three times its normal size due to a medical condition (hydrocephalus), has gone viral all over the media.
The report from Daily Mail, UK said the two-year-old Emon, from southern Bangladesh, has a head that weighs 9kg – the same weight as an average one-year-old boy.
According to the report, Emon was delivered through C.section with a head that was bigger than normal, and for the past two years, his head has continued to expand.
The boy’s parents have to constantly take care of him because the toddler is unable to walk, talk or move his limbs due the huge weight of his head.
Out of desperation, Emon’s parents have sort treatments from different doctors and spiritualists at nearby villages but nobody could diagnose what was wrong with him, rather the situation got worse.
It was later discovered that the boy has a rare hydrocephalus – a buildup of fluid inside the skull – increasing pressure and causing damage to the brain.
How Hydrocephalus Affects the Brain
The brain and spine are surrounded by a fluid called Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is essential for cushioning the organ, providing nutrients and removing toxic waste products from the brain. As the organ constantly produces new CSF, old fluid is released from the brain and absorbed into the blood vessels.
If this process is interrupted, the level of CSF can build-up, placing pressure on the brain.
Although Emon’s case is not hopeless, doctors told his parents that his chances of being cured lies in getting a medical treatment abroad, but his parents said they’re too poor to afford his treatment.
There are babies like Emon in Africa who were cured through series of medical operations and they are living normal lives.
Congenital hydrocephalus, as it is called, can be caused by birth defects such as spina bifida – where an infant’s spine doesn’t develop properly.
It can also occur as a result of an infection the mother develops during pregnancy, such as mumps or rubella (German measles). If left untreated, it carries the risk of long-term mental and physical disabilities as a result of permanent brain damage, the Daily Mail reports.